For nearly 30 years, the search for a room-temperature superconductor has focused on exotic materials known as cuprates, which can carry currents without losing energy as heat at temperatures up to 164 Kelvin, or –109 ˚C. But scientists say that they have trumped that record using the common molecule hydrogen sulphide1. When they subjected a tiny sample of that material to pressures close to those inside Earth’s core, the researchers say that it was superconductive at 190 K (–83 ˚C).
"If the result is reproduced, it will be quite shocking," says Robert Cava, a solid-state chemist at Princeton University in New Jersey. "It would be a historic discovery."