HIGHLIGHTS OF 2020

The dawn of the nickel age of superconductivity

An Author Correction to this article was published on 25 November 2020

This article has been updated

Whereas high-temperature superconductivity in cuprates has been studied for 30 years, during the past year it has been reported in nickelates. This raises new questions for physicists and chemists about the mechanism of superconductivity — despite the electronic similarities of Cu and Ni, it seems that nickelate superconductivity requires consideration of a second orbital.

Key advances

  • Extraction of layers of oxygen ions from thin films of perovskite structure (Nd,Sr)NiO2 has led to emergence of the long sought nickelate superconductivity.

  • Comparison of the nickelate with the isostructural and isovalent, high temperature superconducting, cuprate has framed the main debate on the importance of their obvious similarities and less evident differences.

  • Several observations — electronic, magnetic, and structural — point toward a new frontier Ni \({d}_{{z}^{2}}\) orbital, with its role in interlayer coupling, in addition to the \({d}_{{x}^{2}-{y}^{2}}\) orbital that has dominated the discussion in cuprate superconductivity.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

Fig. 1: Infinite layer nickelate, NdNiO2.

Change history

  • 25 November 2020

    An Erratum to this paper has been published:https://doi.org/10.1038/s42254-020-00265-3.

References

  1. 1.

    Li, D. et al. Superconductivity in an infinite-layer nickelate. Nature 572, 624 (2019).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Zeng, S. et al. Phase diagram and superconducting dome of infinite-layer Nd1-xSrxNiO2 thin films. Phys. Rev. Lett. 125, 147003 (2020).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Azuma, M., Hiroi, Z., Takano, M., Bando, Y. & Tekeda, Y. Superconductivity at 110 K in the infinite-layer compound (Sr1-xCax)1-yCuO2. Nature 356, 775 (1992).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Botana, A. S. & Norman, M. R. Similarities and differences between LaNiO2 and CaCuO2 and implications for superconductivity. Phy. Rev. X. 10, 011024 (2020).

    Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Anisimov, V. I., Bukhvalov, D. & Rice, T. M. Electronic structure of possible nickelate analogs to the cuprates. Phys. Rev. B 59, 7901 (1999).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Lee, K.-W. & Pickett, W. E. Infinite-layer nickelate LaNiO2: Ni1+ is not Cu2+. Phys. Rev. B 70, 165109 (2004).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Jiang, M., Berciu, M. & Sawatzky, G. A. Critical nature of the Ni spin state in doped NdNiO2. Phys. Rev. Lett. 124, 207004 (2020).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Matsumoto, Y. High-pressure synthesis A2NiO2Ag2Se2 (A=Sr, Ba) with a high-spin Ni2+ in square-planar coordination. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 58, 756 (2019).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Jin, H.-S., Pickett, W. E. & Lee, K.-W. Proposed ordering of textured spin singlets in a bulk infinite-layer nickelate. Phys. Rev. Research 2, 033197 (2020).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Wang, B. X. Synthesis and characterization of bulk Nd1-xSrxNiO2 and Nd1-xSrxNiO3. Phys. Rev. Matls. 4, 084409 (2020).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

The author acknowledges collaboration with K.-W. Lee, and several exchanges with A. S. Botana. This work was supported by National Science Foundation Grant DMR 1607139. For the computations we used the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE), which is supported by National Science Foundation grant number ACI-1548562.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Warren E. Pickett.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The author declares no competing interests.

Additional information

Publisher’s note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Pickett, W.E. The dawn of the nickel age of superconductivity. Nat Rev Phys (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s42254-020-00257-3

Download citation

Search

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing