Recent Advances in High-Temperature Superconductivity of the Cuprates and Iron Pnictides

Nai-Chang Yeh, Department of Physics, California Institute of Technology

Much progress has been made in the research and applications of high-temperature superconducting cuprates since 1986. However, the pairing mechanism for these cuprate superconductors with a record high transition temperature (Tc) of ~ 165 K remains elusive to date. A new discovery of superconductivity this year in the iron pnictides (maximum Tc ~ 52 K) has rekindled intense research activities worldwide. A particularly intriguing aspect of this new discovery is the similarities and contrasts of the physical properties of the iron pnictides to those of the cuprates. This talk will provide an overview of established properties and fundamental physics issues associated with these novel superconductors in comparison with conventional superconductivity.

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