Jahn-Teller metals

An international team of researchers at Tokohu University in Japan studying a superconductor made from buckyballs or (the carbon-60 molecules) discovered a new type of metallic state of matter which is named Jahn Teller metals.


The team found the new state after changing the distance between neighbouring buckyballs by doping the material with rubidium.

1. Jahn- Teller Metal was found by changing the distance between neighbouring buckyballs by doping the material with rubidium

2. It is a combination of insulating, magnetic, metallic and superconducting phases – including the hitherto unknown state, “Jahn-Teller metal”

3. It is named after the Jahn-Teller effect, which is used in chemistry to describe how at low pressures, the geometric arrangement of molecules and ions in an electronic state can become distorted

4. Jahn- Teller metal can now allow scientists to transform an insulator, which can’t conduct electricity into a conductor by simply applying pressure

5. An astonishing fact about this newly found matter is that it involves an intermediate insulator transition state never seen before

6. It should be noted that when the simple metal is cooled, it becomes a conventional “BCS” superconductor in which the electron-pairing mechanism is well understood. However, when the Jahn-Teller metal is cooled, it becomes an “unconventional” superconductor with an as-yet-unknown pairing mechanism

7. The development of this new state of matter will allow scientists to better understand why some materials have the potential to achieve superconductivity at a relativity high critical temperature (Tc) – “high” as in -135 °C as opposed to -243.2 °C.

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