Unusual particle interactions open up new possibilities in exotic materials: A different spin on superconductivity
Researchers have seen exotic superconductivity that relies on highly unusual electron interactions. While predicted to occur in other non-material systems, this type of behavior has remained elusive. The team’s research reveals effects that are profoundly different from anything that has been seen before with superconductivity. Electron interactions in superconductors are dictated by a quantum property called spin. In an ordinary superconductor, electrons, which carry a spin of ½, pair up and flow uninhibited with the help of vibrations in the atomic structure. This theory is well-tested and can describe the behavior of most superconductors. In this new research, the team uncovers evidence for a new type of superconductivity in the material YPtBi, one that seems to arise from spin-3/2 particles.