Superconducting materials have zero resistance. As such they are used in many applications ranging from strong magnets in medical magnet resonance imaging to power transmission. So far, all known superconductors require cooling to turn them into the state of zero resistance. Researchers at the University of Bristol work to unravel the mechanism of superconductivity in a variety of materials. Completing our understanding will help to find new record superconductors and will help novel applications.

High-pressure Superconductivity

A team lead by Dr Sven Friedemann studies superconductors at high pressures. This includes recently found hydrogen-compounds like lanthanum hydride with a record superconducting temperature of -25 °C. The researchers use diamond anvil cells to generate pressures up to 2 million atmospheres necessary to form these compounds and necessary to make them superconduct. His team studies the electronic and magnetic properties of high-pressure superconductors. This research is supported by the European Research Council.

A piece of sulphur prepared on a diamond anvil for the synthesis of the superconductor sulphur hydride H3S.

Unconventional Superconductivity

Researchers from the University of Bristol study the mechanism of Superconductivity in Cuprate Superconductors. This research is supported by both the UK research council EPSRC and the European Research Council. The research focuses on the electronic and magnetic ground state and excitations. Recent results show that high temperature superconductivity in layered cuprates can develop from an electronically ordered state called a charge density wave.


Checkerboard pattern due to the modulation of the atomic positions in the CuO2 layers of YBa2Cu3O6+x caused by the charge density wave


Edit this page