Topics: Condensed Matter Physics, Materials Science, Superconductors
Researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences have found evidence for an unusual superconducting state in CsV3Sb5, a so-called Kagome metal that exhibits exotic electronic properties. The finding could shed new light on how superconductivity emerges in materials where phenomena such as frustrated magnetism and intertwined orders play a major role.
Kagome metals are named after a traditional Japanese basket-weaving technique that produces a lattice of interlaced symmetrical triangles. Physicists are interested in this configuration (known as a Kagome pattern) because when the atoms of a metal or other conductor are arranged in this fashion, their electrons behave in unusual ways.
An example is frustrated magnetism, which occurs when electrons are “not happy to live together”, observes Ludovic Jaubert, a condensed-matter physicist at the University of Bordeaux in France who was not involved in the present work. In frustrated materials, not all interactions between electron spins can be satisfied at the same time, which prevents the spins from ordering themselves on long length scales. This failure has significant consequences for the material’s properties: if water behaved like this, for example, it would never freeze.
Unusual superconductivity appears in a Kagome metal, Isabelle Dumé, Physics World