Friday, April 6, 2001
Louisiana State University professor Philip W. Adams and
researcher Vladimir Y. Butko are using beryllium for showing that there is a
universal standard for limiting a metal film's resistance to conductivity. The
findings are said to be significant for understanding why metals stop being good
conductors when made very thin.
Adams says that many scientists have tried researching this
question by vaporizing metals and allowing the vapor to settle on surfaces as a
thin film. Testing the film's conductivity of the film deposition is
problematic, according to Adams. "The vapors of most metals fall in droplets and
create a film that is granular, which makes testing difficult and inaccurate,"
Adams and Butko discovered that vaporized beryllium makes a smooth
film, but does not conduct electricity well. However, when a magnetic field is
applied to the film, it's resistance to conductivity decreases. The more the
magnetic field increases, the more the beryllium's resistance falls, until it
stabilizes at what is known to physicists as "quantum resistance."
Adam and Butko believe other metals react the same way, but the
phenomenon was never observed before because the granular films were difficult
to test. Adams says the discovery is significant because it shows there is a
universal standard for limiting a metal film's resistance to conductivity and
the standard is based on the behavior of electrons in metals when exposed to
For more information, call (225) 578-5985.