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One hundred years after its discovery, superconductivity is still one of the most fascinating and challenging topics in condensed-matter physics.
The high critical temperature and magnetic field in cuprates and Fe-based superconductors are not enough to assure applications at higher temperatures. Making these superconductors useful involves complex and expensive technologies to address many conflicting physics and materials requirements.
Superconductivity has gone from a rare event to a ground state that pops up in materials once considered improbable, if not impossible. Although we cannot predict its occurrence yet, recent discoveries give us some clues about how to look for new — hopefully more useful — superconducting materials.
John Clarke told Nature Materials about his work on superconducting quantum interference devices — SQUIDs — and his fascination with their applicability to many fields, from medicine to geophysics to quantum information and cosmology.
Embedding magnesium nanoparticles in a gas-selective polymer prevents their oxidation under ambient conditions while enabling reversible hydrogen storage.
Memory effects resulting from frustration and topology in nematic liquid crystals confined in bicontinuous structures may enable the fabrication of geometrically functionalized materials.
The interaction between ferroelectric distortion and two rotational modes in some transition-metal oxides promises a strategy for strong magnetoelectronic coupling, possibly at room temperature.
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