R. Paxton Thedford
-Wiesner & Gruner Lab-
Quantum Metamaterials from Soft Matter: Mesostructured Metal Superconductors via Block Copolymer Nanocomposites
Three-dimensionally mesostructured superconductors have unique properties compared to thin film or bulk analogues, but their investigation has been limited by the lack of facile synthesis methods. Though largely unexplored in this application, block copolymers (BCPs) can serve as structure-directing agents to tune material architectures and, by extension, properties over scales on the order of characteristic lengths in superconductors (10s of nm). Here we will report on a versatile approach to mesostructured metal superconductors via block copolymer nanocomposite formation. Results indicate quantum metamaterials behavior, with evidence that properties such as the coherence length or magnetic vortex formation and pinning change substantially in a 3D periodic bicontinuous double gyroid mesostructure. The work suggests the emergence of a new field of soft matter self-assembly directed quantum materials promising new physical phenomena and quantum material properties.