Structure of YBCO (Yttrium Barium Copper Oxide)

Yttrium atoms are yellow, Barium atoms are purple, Copper atoms are blue and Oxygen atoms are red; the picture was generated using BIOSYM(TM).

YBCO has what is called a Perovskite structure. This refers to the kind of layering seen in this complex metal oxide. The research that we do in our group is aimed at finding better ways to make YBCO. Scientists are interested in YBCO because when it is cooled below around 90 Kelvin, which can be accomplished with liquid nitrogen, it becomes a superconductor. The two most important properties of YBCO are that it has no electrical resistance and that it expels a magnetic field.