Superconductivity in colloidal lead nanocrystals.

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Zolotavin, Pavlo.
Description:164 p.
Format: E-Resource Dissertations
Local Note:School code: 0330.
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Other authors / contributors:University of Chicago.
Notes:Advisor: Philippe Guyot-Sionnest.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--The University of Chicago, Division of the Physical Sciences, Department of Chemistry, 2013.
Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 74-10(E), Section: B.
Summary:Monodisperse colloidal lead nanoparticles with diameters ranging from 4.4 to 20 nm were prepared by a self-limiting growth method. The nanoparticles are protected from oxidation by an amorphous lead-tin oxide shell of 1.5-2 nm thickness. The magnetic susceptibility of the particles was measured as a function of size, temperature and magnetic field. The Meissner effect was observed indicating the superconducting transition. For the 20 and 16 nm particles, the critical temperature is suppressed to 6.9 K from the bulk value of 7.2 K and is further reduced for smaller particles. Depending on the size of the particles, the critical field is enhanced by 60 to 140 times. The coupling between particles was in situ controlled through the conversion of the oxides present on the surface of the nanoparticles to chalcogenides. This transformation allows for a 109-fold increase in the conductivity. The temperature of the onset of the superconductivity was found to depend upon the degree of coupling of the nanoparticles in the vicinity of the insulator - superconductor transition. The critical current density of the best sample of Pb/PbSe nanocrystals at zero magnetic field was determined to be 4 x 103 A/cm 2. In turn, the critical field of the sample shows 50-fold enhancement compared to bulk Pb. A method to convert the original Pb/PbO nanocrystals into colloidal Pb/PbS (Se, Te) particle was developed. This alleviates the necessity of chemical post processing and provides a truly colloidal superconductor. Paramagnetic Meissner effect of abnormally large amplitude is observed for Pb/PbTe nanocrystal assemblies. The material described in this manuscript is the first nanostructured superconductor prepared by the bottom-up approach starting from colloidal nanoparticles.