Room Temperature Superconductor Under Diamond Anvil Pressures

University of Rochester researchers squeezed carbonaceous sulfur hydride in a diamond anvil and it superconducted at 15 degrees Celsius under 270 gigapascals of pressure. This is about 2.5 million times regular atmospheric pressure. The bottom of the Mariana Trench has 1071 times the pressure of regular atmosphere.

The sample were between 25 and 35 microns. Next, they will be to try to reduce the high pressure needed by adjusting the chemical composition. If they can solve the pressure problem then this could become a practical room temperature superconductor.

Nature – Room-temperature superconductivity in a carbonaceous sulfur hydride

Researchers found superconductivity in a photochemically transformed carbonaceous sulfur hydride system, starting from elemental precursors, with a maximum superconducting transition temperature of 287.7 ± 1.2 kelvin (about 15 degrees Celsius) achieved at 267 ± 10 gigapascals. The superconducting state is observed over a broad pressure range in the diamond anvil cell, from 140 to 275 gigapascals, with a sharp upturn in transition temperature above 220 gigapascals. Superconductivity is established by the observation of zero resistance, a magnetic susceptibility of up to 190 gigapascals, and reduction of the transition temperature under an external magnetic field of up to 9 tesla, with an upper critical magnetic field of about 62 tesla according to the Ginzburg–Landau model at zero temperature. The light, quantum nature of hydrogen limits the structural and stoichiometric determination of the system by X-ray scattering techniques, but Raman spectroscopy is used to probe the chemical and structural transformations before metallization. The introduction of chemical tuning within our ternary system could enable the preservation of the properties of room-temperature superconductivity at lower pressures.

SOURCES – Nature, University of Rochester
Written by Brian Wang,

11 thoughts on “Room Temperature Superconductor Under Diamond Anvil Pressures”

  1. Oh sure, science and technology, by its very nature, is inextricably holistic.

    But, per Louis Wu when he was thinking on it at one point, it was the room temperature superconductors that enabled their civilization to reach the peak of its power. It was certainly their loss in the superconductor plague (organisms that ate the stuff) that ended civilization on the Ringworld.

    Most of the other stuff, such as the atomic force strength Scrith, they could have worked around, such as, in its absence creating a Dyson cloud instead of a contiguous ring, etc.

  2. Never say never.

    …Yet while researchers celebrate the achievement, they stress that the newfound compound — created by a team led by Ranga Dias of the University of Rochester — will never find its way into lossless power lines, frictionless high-speed trains, or any of the revolutionary technologies that could become ubiquitous if the fragile quantum effect underlying superconductivity could be maintained in truly ambient conditions. That’s because the substance superconducts at room temperature only while being crushed between a pair of diamonds to pressures roughly 75% as extreme as those found in the Earth’s core…

  3. Eh? The ringworld engineers had room temperature superconductivity…. but they also had a whole lot of other super advanced technology, including materials that made carbon nanotubes look weak.

  4. This deserves to be spun out as a startup company and given some real funding. They need to get the pressure down, but it's promising. Maybe the biggest discovery in the field in a long time. We'll see.

  5. Larry Niven's opus, Ringworld, was predicated on the power of a civilization that had achieved room temperature superconductors.

    Unfortunately, at this kind of pressure, we aren't going to see that level of versatility, yet.

    However, given that this is actually helping folks figure out how superconductors work, as opposed to just finding one with no idea how it works, I remain hopeful.

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