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A team of researchers from the University of Rochester, the State University of New York at Buffalo and the University of Nevada Las Vegas has reduced the amount of pressure required to force a material to become superconductive at room temperature, improving on their own previous results. In their paper published in the journal Physical Review Letters, the group outlines their technique and plans for the future.

Scientists have been looking to create materials that are superconductive at room temperature for many years. Such a material would allow for building cooler electronics and would dramatically increase the efficiency of the electricity grid. It was not until late last year that the first such material was created—a hydrogen-rich compound that, when squeezed to 267 GPa, became superconductive. And while the feat was a step in the right direction, the need for made the material impractical for everyday use. In this new effort, the same team has found a way to dramatically reduce the required pressure by making a change to their prior technique—they combined hydrogen with yttrium instead of carbon and sulfur.

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