Predictive calculation of high temperature superconductors
Accurate calculation of transition temperature
Graduate School of Engineering / Faculty of Engineering
Prediction or materials design of high temperature superconductivity is one of the holy grails of condensed matter theory. To achieve this goal, researchers need to develop a predictive method to calculate transition temperatures of superconductors mediated by phonons, plasmons, excitons, spin fluctuations, and so on. While density functional theory for phonon-mediated superconductors was successfully formulated in 2005, it has proved difficult to develop for unconventional superconductors that often have extremely high transition temperatures. Professor Ryotaro Arita and Mr. Ryosuke Akashi from the Department of Applied Physics, the University of Tokyo, formulated a scheme for the plasmon mechanism, a prototypical unconventional pairing mechanism whose history dates back to late 1970s. They applied their method to one of the most elemental high temperature superconductors, lithium under pressure, and obtained excellent agreement between theory and experimental data.
This method provides an index against which to design new superconducting materials that should accelerate the development of new synthetic superconductors and contribute to the future creation of superconducting power lines and motors.
This research was published in the journal Physical Review Letters (August 1 online edition).
Ryosuke Akashi and Ryotaro Arita,
“Development of Density-Functional Theory for a Plasmon-Assisted Superconducting State: Application to Lithium Under High Pressures”,
Physical Review Letters 111, 057006 (2013), doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.111.057006.