High-temperature superconductors (abbreviated high-Tc or HTS) are materials that behave as superconductors at unusually high temperatures. The first high-Tc superconductor was discovered in 1986 by IBM researchers Karl Müller and Johannes Bednorz, who were awarded the 1987 Nobel Prize in Physics "for their important break-through in the discovery of superconductivity in ceramic materials".
Whereas "ordinary" or metallic superconductors usually have transition temperatures (temperatures below which they superconduct) of about 30 K (−243.2 °C), HTS superconductors have been observed with transition temperatures as high as 138 K (−135 °C). Until recently, only certain compounds of copper and oxygen (so-called "cuprates") were believed to have HTS properties, and the term high-temperature superconductor was used interchangeably with cuprate superconductor for compounds such as bismuth strontium calcium copper oxide (BSCCO) and yttrium barium copper oxide (YBCO). However, several iron-based compounds (the iron pnictides) are now known to be superconducting at high temperatures.
Read more about High-temperature Superconductivity: History, Properties, Examples, Cuprates, Iron-based Superconductors, Other Materials Sometimes Referred To As High-temperature Superconductors, Ongoing Research, Possible Mechanism
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