Less than two years ago the science world was shocked by the discovery of a material capable of room-temperature superconductivity. Now, a team of University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) physicists has upped the ante once again by reproducing the feat at the lowest pressure ever recorded.
To be clear, this means that science is closer than it’s ever been to a usable, replicable material that could one day revolutionize how energy is transported.
International headlines were in 2020 by the discovery of room-temperature superconductivity for the first time by UNLV physicist Ashkan Salamat and colleague Ranga Dias, a physicist with the University of Rochester. To achieve the feat, the scientists chemically synthesized a mix of carbon, sulfur, and hydrogen first into a metallic state, and then even further into a room-temperature superconducting state using extremely high pressure – 267 gigapascals – conditions you’d only find in nature near the center of the Earth.
Fast forward less than two years, and the researchers are now able to complete the feat at just 91 GPa – roughly one-third the pressure initially reported. The new findings were published as an advance article in the journal Chemical Communications this month.
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