Triplet conductivity in diamonds

Materials World magazine
,
13 Oct 2020

Researchers in Johannesburg, South Africa, are demonstrating the theory of triplet spin conductivity in diamonds – a phenomenon that occurs when electrons move in a composite spin state. This is said to be an extremely rare, yet efficient, form of superconductivity that until now has only been known to occur in one or two other materials, and only theoretically in diamonds.

By investigating the nature of diamond’s superconductivity, the team from the University of Witwatersrand hope the discovery has potential uses for the high-tech industry.

‘In a conventional superconducting material such as aluminium, superconductivity is destroyed by magnetic fields and magnetic impurities, however, triplet superconductivity in a diamond can exist even when combined with magnetic materials,’ says Professor Somnath Bhattacharyya in the Nano-Scale Transport Physics Laboratory (NSTPL) at the University. ‘This leads to more efficient and multifunctional operation of the material.

‘With the new surge of superconducting materials such as diamond, traditional silicon technology can be replaced by cost-effective and low-power consumption solutions,’ Bhattacharyya adds.

This research was carried out in collaboration with Oxford University and Diamond Light Source in the UK. Through these collaborations, atomic arrangement of diamond crystals and interfaces that have never been seen before could be visualised, supporting the first claims of triplet superconductivity.