Strongly correlated alkali fullerides
10 Oct 2010



Alkali-doped fullerides are the simplest type of high-Tc superconductors.

A muon (green) implanted in fcc Cs3C60.

In the hyperexpanded bcc-structured A15 Cs3C60, superconductivity emerges upon applied pressure out of an antiferromagnetic insulating state and displays a dome in Tc as a function of the volume per C603- anion. Whereas in the high-Tc cuprates, the Cu2+ cation is limited to one structural arrangement (a 2D square lattice), we have now isolated a second polymorph of the magnetic and superconducting fulleride Cs3C60 with an fcc structure. This enables a comparison between these two cooperative electronic states when the same electronically active unit is arranged differently in space. The dominant role of electron correlations is then shown by a simple structure-independent scaling of Tc according to proximity to the correlation-driven Mott metal-insulator transition.

Universal trend in the superconducting transition temperature

Universal trend in the superconducting transition temperature as a function of the proximity to the Mott transition.
View full-size image


 ISIS muons were vital in the discovery of spin ordering of the fcc variant, where magnetism is dramatically suppressed by the frustrated nature of the lattice structure.

K Prassides (Durham University), MJ Rosseinsky (University of Liverpool), PJ Baker (ISIS)

Research date: December 2009

Further Information

Contact: Prof K Prassides,

Further information: AY Ganin et al., Nature 466 (2010) 221​