The dynamic developments in high-temperature superconductivity over the last three years has augmented the importance of materials research not only for applications, but also for the understanding of underlying physical phenomena. The discovery of new superconductors has opened up new facets of High Tc research, and the perfection of already known materials has enabled reliable physical measurements to be carried out, providing a foundation for theoretical models. The papers in this volume present an overview of the recent developments in the field of High Tc-materials research. One of the highlights of this meeting was the plenary lecture by the Nobel laureate K. Alex Müller on the importance of the apical oxygen phenomena which are strongly connected with Tc changes.
Superconductors with high critical temperatures are extremely complex and it remains difficult to synthesize high quality samples. In this regard, the materials and crystallographic aspects, drawing together the fields of structural chemistry and physics, solid state chemistry and physics, and applications and properties, both for cuprate and organic superconductors, play a vital role in our understanding of the phenomenon. Among other things, the contributions to local structural elucidation contained in the present work will shatter the reader's prejudices concerning the idealized average structure.
Some years ago it was not uncommon for materials scientists, even within the electronics industry, to work relatively independently of device engi neers. Neither group had a means to determine whether or not the materials had been optimized for application in specific device structures. This mode of operation is no longer desirable or possible. The introduction of a new material, or a new form of a well known material, now requires a close collaborative effort between individuals who represent the disciplines of materials preparation, materials characterization, device design and pro cessing, and the analysis of the device operation to establish relationships between device performance and the materials properties. The develop ment of devices in heteroepitaxial thin films has advanced to the present state specifically through the unusually close and active interchange among individuals with the appropriate backgrounds. We find no book available which brings together a description of these diverse disciplines needed for the development of such a materials-device technology. Therefore, the authors of this book, who have worked in close collaboration for a number of years, were motivated to collect their experiences in this volume. Over the years there has been a logical flow of activity beginning with heteroepi taxial silicon and progressing through the III-V and II-VI compounds. For each material the early emphasis on material preparation and characteriza tion later shifted to an emphasis on the analysis of the device characteristics specific to the materials involved.
After an introduction by J.G. Bednorz, describing the discovery of high Tc superconductivity and its consequences, the book goes on to describe modern research, dealing with general problems, new materials and structures, phase separation, electronic homogeneities and related problems, and applications. Specific systems dealt with include the La-cuprates. the Bi-cuprates and the Y-cuprates and related compounds.