Neven Barišić is Assistant Professor at the Institute of Solid State Physics at TU Wien with a research interest in innovative electronic materials and concepts. In his ERC grant project, "TheONE", he is focusing on the phenomenon of superconductivity, where the electrical resistance of a material completely vanishes when cooled. This phenomenon occurs in what are known as high-temperature superconductors where there is a delicate balance between specific material properties, chaos and a multitude of competing electronic phases. This makes it difficult to identify the precise mechanisms that are responsible for superconductivity. Consequently, the theoretical models available for dealing with high-temperature conductors vary widely and require further investigation - both at a theoretical and experimental level.
Barišić's research focuses on cuprate, the family of copper oxides, whose high transition temperature makes them ideal for his experiments and future technical applications. "We are talking about high-temperature superconductors, because these materials become superconductors at around 135 degrees Kelvin - around minus 135° Celsius - in other words, at significantly higher temperatures than for liquid nitrogen," explains Neven Barišić. "We want to understand why these materials demonstrate superconductivity and thus how we can manipulate them to be able to use them in future as superconductors at an ambient temperature." The physicist's research field involves highly topical fundamental research, although superconductors are already in use in temperatures much lower than ambient temperatures. MRI scanners, the famous LHC particle accelerator at CERN, and the latest magnetic-levitation trains all use superconducting magnets.
Each year, the European Research Council (ERC) awards grants of various amounts to support innovative projects in fundamental research that have the potential to yield pioneering results ("frontier research"). The ERC Consolidator Grant enables researchers to further consolidate an established team on a research topic. ERC grants are amongst the most highly prized and prestigious research grants awarded in Europe.
ERC Consolidator Grant for "TheONE – Janus-face of the localized carrier in cuprates: generating pseudogap and high temperature superconductivity"