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Superconductivity at the Two-Dimensional Limit

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Science  05 Jun 2009:
Vol. 324, Issue 5932, pp. 1314-1317
DOI: 10.1126/science.1170775

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Superconducting Limits

An electron wave function extends in three dimensions. Pairing up into Cooper pairs and reducing the temperatures can induce superconductivity in a material. How robust is an inherently three-dimensional effect when the dimensions are restricted? Qin et al. (p. 1314, published online 30 April) looked at the thickness dependence of superconductivity in thin lead films. In contrast to earlier, less direct measurements, superconductivity was robust, even down to films of only two monolayers.

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