Delft University of Technology scientists developed a superconductor scheme considered impossible. It is a one-way superconductor with zero resistance that blocks any current flowing in the opposite direction.
Superconductors have the potential to make electronic devices hundreds of times faster at the same time as eliminating energy losses. However, magnetic fields have traditionally been required to prevent them from conducting in all directions, meaning they haven’t been practical for classical computing.
This time,has provided an alternative method for controlling the current direction in a superconductor without magnets. They used a novel quantum material developed by a material physics team at Johns Hopkins University called Nb3Br8.
Scientists peeled off just a couple atomic layers of this Nb3Br8 and make a very, very thin sandwich — just a few atomic layers thick — which was needed for making the Josephson diode, and was not possible with normal 3D materials.
“Technology that was previously only possible using semiconductors can now potentially be made with superconductors using this building block. This includes faster computers, as in computers with up to terahertz speed, which is 300 to 400 times faster than the computers we are now using,” said Mazhar Ali, a researcher who co-discovered the superconductor.
One of the obstacles to the mass use of superconductors is the very low temperature they need. Scientists conducted experiments at a temperature of -196 ° C. They now believe that the superconductor is best used in centralized server farms and supercomputers. So the invention can help the largest number of people at the lowest cost.