Metallic, hydrogen-rich compounds become superconducting at very high pressures.
Russell Hemley and his group at George Washington University measured significant drops in resistivity when the sample cooled below 260 K (minus 13 C, or 8 F) at 180-200 gigapascals of pressure, presenting evidence of superconductivity at near-room temperature. In subsequent experiments, the researchers saw the transition occurring at even higher temperatures, up to 280 K. Throughout the experiments, the researchers also used X-ray diffraction to observe the same phenomenon.
They are confident many other hydrides—or superhydrides—will be found with even higher transition temperatures under pressure.
Physical Review Letters – Evidence for Superconductivity above 260 K in Lanthanum Superhydride at Megabar Pressures.
Other researchers at Berkeley and other places believe the high pressure high-temperature superconductors will help us understand superconductors at higher temperatures but ambient pressures.
SOURCES – Arxiv, Physical Review Letters, George Washington University
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