As superconducting property are found in the very rare materials. With the next generation, electronic era aids a new milestone to develop new material with such properties. Most of us might have heard about the titanium dioxide (TiO2). It is a whitener material commonly used for sunscreens and in paints Viz. white lines in layout of tennis courts. But most of us are not familiar with other higher titanium oxides structures containing the higher number of Titanium and Oxygen atoms compared to TiO2. This higher order TiO2’s are now subjected to intensifying research as they are having significant potential to use in next-generation electronics devices.
Recent research carried out in Tokyo Tech has found the superconductivity in ultrathin films of two higher order structures of titanium oxides. With a thickness reveal properties that have just only begun to be explored. Research has succeeded to build the thin films of Ti4O7 and as well for γ-Ti3O5 for the first time ever. Kohei Yoshimatsu, has discovered this superconductivity published in Scientific Reports.
Figure 1 the crystalline structure of the two titanium dioxide crystals.
The thin films of TiO2 superconductors are created using either pulsed laser deposition techniques or being fabricated by using helicon RF magnetron sputtering. The formation of thin electrically conductive films is seen as the big advancement for superconductive physics. TiO2 superconductors are the type 2 superconductors and are temperature dependent. In the research it is found that superconducting transition temperature for Ti4O7 is limited to 3.0 K and for γ-Ti3O5 reaches to 7.1 K.
The thin films are extremely difficult to grow. In order to grow thin films begin with the reduced Ti2o3. Then under the very controlled and precise atmospheric conditions films of the γ-Ti3O5 and Ti4O7 were grown as layer by layer upon of the sapphire substrate using the process pulsed laser deposition as shown in Figure 2 below.
Figure 2 process of pulsed laser deposition of thin film growing
The crystalline structure of the films is verified using characterization techniques such as X-ray diffraction (XRD) by using synchrotron radiation at SPring-8 level. Growing the superconductivity in new thin film materials is a significant contribution and will be explored in the near future. In near future, these superconductors will be used in the superconducting powerful electromagnets used for trains lifting, in medical science for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and for the focusing and beam steering magnets used in particle accelerators in vehicles. It a great field of motivation for budding electronic engineers.
Dr. Paresh Rawat
HoD – Department of ECE
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