Unlike the electrons studied in low-temperature superconducting materials, the electrons in high-temperature superconductors that are most likely to bond and flow effortlessly are the ones that repel others the strongest when the environment is not conducive to superconductivity.
The Princeton team used a specialized scanning tunneling microscope to measure with high precision how nature allows electron pairs to form. "What we have found is that the traditional signatures of what some might call the 'glue' are there – we can measure them with high accuracy on the atomic scale," Yazdani said. "They don't control the formation of the superconducting pairs, though. They are more like spectators." ###
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