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Seven years ago Klaus Bechgaard of the University of Copenhagen synthesized a family of selenium‐based organic compounds now known as Bechgaard salts (see figure 1). A few months later his collaborators at the University of Paris, Orsay, found these materials to be superconducting below about 1.5 K, culminating the search for organic superconductivity that began in the early 1960s. (See PHYSICS TODAY, February 1981, page 17.)
Some new, electrically conducting organic compounds show unexpected physical phenomena such as superconductivity, spin‐density waves and a novel phase transition induced by an applied magnetic field.