Superconductivity is a strange phenomenon. Through this phenomenon, electrical energy can pass through a material without resistance, so that it can pass through cables at high speed without loss. The problem is that very low temperatures are required to achieve this, about -140°C, which complicates the process and makes it more expensive.
With the help of a small diamond anvil to generate high pressure and laser, hydrogen, sulfur and carbon semiconductors are obtained at a temperature of 15°C
By generating heat in a minimal way, achieving superconductivity at room temperature in a simple way will increase the efficiency of conductors and electronic devices. This will help its application in many fields and avoid energy loss in the grid, thereby saving millions of euros.
In recent years, it has been shown that high-pressure hydrogen-rich materials have allowed superconductivity at around -23°C, but with the assistance of the University of Rochester, a group of researchers from the United States have achieved greater success. It is zero resistance state at 15°C.The study highlights it on the cover of the magazine natural.
The progress is shown on the cover of Nature.
The authors used a diamond anvil box that can generate extremely high pressures and used lasers to test various hydrogen-rich compounds until they found that each material became superconducting and the most effective conditions.
“This is a ternary system composed of hydrogen (H), sulfur (S) and carbon (C). They are photochemically converted into hydrocarbons with the potential chemical formula CSH7. This system has not been foreseen! We believe that the lead author Ranga Dias Sinc explained, “This will open up a new way to predict this type of material. “
The superconductivity of this hydride has reached 267 gigapascals (2.6 million atmospheres), which is as high as the pressure in the center of the earth, about 1 million times that of tires. The amount currently produced is very small (picoliter), which is equivalent to the size of ink particles.
The next challenge: under environmental pressure
He said: “Although it occurs under high pressure, these advances in hydrogen-rich new materials that are superconducting at room temperature will not only provide information for the design of new materials under low pressure, they will also help us. Better understand the superconducting mechanism itself.” pointed out.
To achieve superconductivity, its pressure is one million times that of tires, similar to the pressure in the center of the earth.
He continued: “The next challenge is to produce stable (or metastable) materials under environmental pressure through the adjustment of chemical composition, so as to make mass production more economical.” We established a company called Unearthly Materials Inc. The main goal of the new company is to manufacture such materials under environmental pressure.
The researchers recalled that the development of superconducting materials with no resistance at room temperature and no magnetic field to drive away was the “Holy Grail” of condensed matter physics for a century.
Diaz said: “Due to the limitation of low temperature, materials with such excellent performance have not changed the world as many people imagined, but our discovery has broken these barriers and opened the door to many potential applications.”
Electrical networks that carry current without losing megawatts, floating trains, new medical scanners and electronic equipment (even without batteries) are some possible applications
These applications include power supply from the grid, without the energy loss of up to 200 million megawatt hours (MWh) due to cable resistance.
It also provides innovative ways for suspended trains and other vehicles, new medical imaging and scanning technologies (such as MRI and MRI), and faster and more efficient electronic equipment, even without the need for batteries. The possibilities and potential of this new technology are huge.
Ranga Dias et al. “Room temperature superconductivity in hydrogenated carbon sulfur”. Naturally, October 14, 2020.