First one-way superconductor could slash energy used by computers

A serendipitous experiment has demonstrated a superconductor that lets electricity preferentially travel in one direction for the first time

Physics


27 April 2022

Artwork of a superconducting chip

TU Delft

A superconducting diode built from a sandwich of atom-thick layers could save vast amounts of power in traditional computing and transform superconducting quantum computers.

The diode – an electronic component that lets electricity preferentially travel in one direction – is a fundamental part of the transistor, the foundational component of modern computing. Diodes and transistors are made from semiconductors that have electrical resistance, meaning energy is lost in the form of heat.

Superconductors are materials with no resistance and so no energy loss, but they don’t…

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