Visualizing The Melting Of Frozen Electrons

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There are a few machines that conduct electrical current more swiftly as compared to others. For example, the metals are known for being one of the best conductors across the globe. The electrons present inside these metals form an electronic liquid that flows via the atomic lattice. On the contrary, in some distinct insulators electrons are fixed in their place inside the atomic lattice. So, you can say that the electronic liquid is frozen. These insulators are called as Mott insulators and some of these atoms can be replaced with other atoms. In technical language it is known as doping. It is a known fact that doping can easily lead to melting of frozen electronic fluid. However, till now it is unknown how exactly the process works. 

A Leidan physicist, Milan Allan, and two lead authors, Koen Bastiaens and Battisti, got successful in visualizing the melting process in a family of materials called the iridates. They found that the process of melting is quite a inhomogenous one. Number of puddles are created between the frozen areas when melting takes place. The size of these puddles extends up to just a few nanometers dimensionally. 

This one is a great discovery, it not only shades some light over the melting process but solves the mystery of superconductivity to some extent. Superconductivity is a process in which electrons are able to move swiftly without any resistance.  It is a very important process as it permits the transportation of electricity without any loss of energy. As Allan describes, “We came to believe that this kind of melting is a universal prerequisite of superconductivity, If we could manage to melt the electronic liquid in all parts of the sample, it would likely become a new superconductor."