damental importance of this material and of the exploratory materials synthesis that produced it is indicated by the more than 150 citations annually of the 2003 discovery paper by K. Takada et al.9 While neutron scattering would provide key information for understanding electronic correlations in this material, adequate single crystals are at present not available. The central challenge for understanding NaxCoO2·yH2O thus arguably lies in single-crystal synthesis.

In summary, there has been extraordinary progress in the ability to probe new materials through laboratory-scale instrumentation and national user facilities. The quality of the science produced is, however, critically dependent on (1) the discovery of new crystalline materials and (2) the production of high-quality samples with the appropriate morphology and dimensions for advanced characterization. Increased emphasis on the discovery and growth of novel crystalline materials is needed to realize the potential of facilities for new science and for materials-based applications in technologies ranging from information to energy.


K. Takada, H. Sakurai, E. Takayama-Muromachi et al., “Superconductivity in Two-Dimensional CoO2 Layers,” Nature, 422, 53 (2003). Number of citations obtained from the ISI Web of Science, http://apps.isiknowledge.com. Last accessed April 2, 2009.

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