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Dan Dessau

Resistance is Futile – Electronic Pairing Interactions in Cuprate and Organic Superconductors
2018 Cooper Lecturer, Dan Dessau

Our colloquium on Thursday, April 19, will feature the 2018 Cooper Lecturer, Dr. Dan Dessau, Professor and Adjunct Fellow of JILA, University of Colorado Boulder. He will be speaking at 3:30 p.m. in G09 White Hall.


Superconductivity, or a true zero-resistance state, is known to originate from the creation of Cooper pairs of electrons that can condense into a phase-coherent macroscopic quantum state. In order to eventually realize the dream of a room temperature superconductor one must be able to engineer a new material with especially strong pairing interactions, such that these interactions can survive thermal fluctuations to very high temperatures.

I will discuss a very new material (K-doped terphenyl) and a rather old family of materials (cuprate superconductors) that have pairing temperatures near 120K. Specifically, we have utilized Einstein’s photoelectric effect (greatly improved since his days) to probe the static and dynamic properties of the pairs in these materials, giving great new insight into the nature of the pairs and the electronic interactions that drive the pairing. For example, in the cuprates I will discuss a positive feedback effect on the pairing that gives the possibility of a very strong fully electronic pairing mechanism.