Posted in | News | Materials Testing

Superconductivity Discovered In Quasicrystal

A new discovery has been made in the field of quasicrystals which reveals an instance of superconductivity. This means they are an extremely conductive material and it also opens the door to a new type of conductivity - fractal superconductivity.

The Department of Physics at the Graduate School of Science, Nagoya University, in Japan made the discovery of what it says is a first viewing of superconductivity in quasicrystals.

The atoms in quasicrystals are ordered over long distances but not in a periodically repeating arrangement. As such, the quasicrystal studied, Al-Zn-Mg, was found to show low electrical resistivity; key for superconductivity.

A quasicrystal is similar to the classical crystal, which is defined as a periodic arrangement of atoms with translational periodicity leading to an infinitely extended crystal structure by aligning building blocks. The difference is that quasicrystals have a long-range order but not one that is periodic. Another difference is that quasicrystals can feature a five-fold symmetry, meaning a non-crystallographic rotational symmetry.

Despite many previous studies, the electronic state of quasicrystals has largely remained a mystery. This new study has shown that the quasicrystal Al-Zn-Mg can exist in a state of superconductivity, meaning one with zero resistance. The results show not only that this is the first superconducting quasicrystal but also the first to exhibit the electronic long-range order.

The quasicrystals were studied using inductively coupled plasma spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopes. The alloy specimens themselves were crushed into fragments using an agate mortar and pestle, before being transferred onto a micro-grid mesh for the electron microscope observations. X-ray diffractions were also obtained as a measure of reactivity; obtained using a diffractometer.

The physical properties were also controlled. Four dilution refrigerators at the Nagoya and Tohoku Universities were used to control temperature. For electric resistivity four terminal dc or ac methods were used. For magnetic susceptibility a Squid magnetometer was employed. Finally, for the quasi-adiabatic heat-pulse the relaxation method was used.

The researchers say that the results show the formation of spatially extended pairs in the quasicrystal. This is apparently due to temperature dependences of the thermodynamic properties and the upper critical field within the weak-coupling framework of superconductivity. #

While superconductivity was discovered in the quasicrystal, the study did still find that there was a negative temperature coefficient of resistivity. That means that as the temperature increased the resistance did too, reducing the ability to transmit electricity. The peak anomaly which was discovered at low temperatures was the instance of superconductivity taking place.

The study found that bulk superconductivity in quasicrystals was evident from the shielding effect found upon cooling the sample under an external magnetic field. The results confirm that the system was a type-II superconductor, meaning the magnetic field penetrates the sample.

Another interesting result was that the critical eigenstates of quasicrystals would not have a dominant role in the superconductivity of that quasicrystal. However, due to the lack of specific findings for the specific weak-coupling, it would be difficult to find the fractal superconducting order parameter as a prediction.

The researchers look to future research from this finding, saying:“We hope that the present study stimulates a further work to reveal this new type of superconductivity.”

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are those of the author expressed in their private capacity and do not necessarily represent the views of Limited T/A AZoNetwork the owner and operator of this website. This disclaimer forms part of the Terms and conditions of use of this website.


Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Edwards, Luke. (2018, January 12). Superconductivity Discovered In Quasicrystal. AZoM. Retrieved on June 17, 2024 from

  • MLA

    Edwards, Luke. "Superconductivity Discovered In Quasicrystal". AZoM. 17 June 2024. <>.

  • Chicago

    Edwards, Luke. "Superconductivity Discovered In Quasicrystal". AZoM. (accessed June 17, 2024).

  • Harvard

    Edwards, Luke. 2018. Superconductivity Discovered In Quasicrystal. AZoM, viewed 17 June 2024,

Tell Us What You Think

Do you have a review, update or anything you would like to add to this news story?

Leave your feedback
Your comment type

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.