Superconductors are materials that exhibit a complete disappearance of electrical resistivity on lowering the temperature below the critical temperature. A superconducting material must exhibit perfect diamagnetism, that is, the complete exclusion of an applied magnetic field from the bulk of the superconductor. Superconducting materials that have received the most attention are niobium-titanium superconductors (the most widely used superconductor), A15 compounds (in which class the important ordered intermetallic Nb3Sn lies), ternary molybdenum chalcogenides (Chevrel phases), and high-temperature ceramic superconductors. This article provides an overview of basic principles of superconductors and the different classes of superconducting materials and their general characteristics.
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