Synopsis: Magnetism shortly before pairing

A new pnictide-type superconductor is discovered with heavy electrons ordering antiferromagnetically and light electrons in a superconducting state.
Synopsis figure
Credit: H. Mizoguchi et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. (2011)

In an article published in Physical Review Letters, Hiroshi Mizoguchi and collaborators from the Tokyo Institute of Technology and the National Institute for Materials Science in Japan report the discovery of a new pnictide-type superconductor, CeNi0.8Bi2, which exhibits a superconducting transition at around 4K.

Structurally similar to the intensely studied pnictide superconductor LaFeAsO, this material consists of alternating layers of bismuth and CeNiBi. The parent stoichiometric compound CeNiBi2 displays antiferromagnetic order, but not superconductivity. In these materials, interlayer interactions alter the effective mass of the mobile charge carriers that are present in each layer. In the case of CeNi0.8Bi2, Mizoguchi et al. report that light electrons reside in the bismuth layers, while the CeNiBi layers host heavy electrons, with a remarkably large difference between the effective masses of both species. What is particularly interesting in this material is that the heavy electrons order at about 5K to an antiferromagnetic state, while the light carriers pair to form a superconducting state at about 4K. – Alex Klironomos


More Announcements »

Subject Areas


Previous Synopsis

Next Synopsis


It takes two

Read More »

Related Articles

Focus: <i>Landmarks</i>—Superconductor Quantizes Magnetic Field

Focus: Landmarks—Superconductor Quantizes Magnetic Field

In 1961, confirmation that a magnetic field inside a superconducting ring is limited to discrete values demonstrated that superconducting electrons pair up. Read More »

Viewpoint: Wiring Up Superconducting Qubits
Quantum Physics

Viewpoint: Wiring Up Superconducting Qubits

A qubit made of a semiconducting nanowire sandwiched between two superconductors could simplify the design of quantum information processing architectures. Read More »

Synopsis: On-Chip Thermometer

Synopsis: On-Chip Thermometer

A tiny thermometer based on a single tunnel junction records temperatures in the millikelvin regime with a simple, compact design. Read More »

More Articles