Hydrogen-rich compounds are better superconductors under extreme pressure

Hydrogen-rich compounds are better superconductors under extreme pressure

11:59 AM, 30th December 2014
Hydrogen-rich compounds are better superconductors under extreme pressure

FRANKFURT, GERMANY: Hydrogen-rich compounds under extreme pressure may be better superconductors than the best conventional ones around, according to scientists in Germany. The results suggest metallic hydrogen-based compounds may offer up to 50 times less electrical resistivity than copper and conduct at -83°C, the highest recorded temperature for a hydrogen-rich superconductor. The best superconductors in existence today stop working at -109°C.

The work conducted by Mikhail Eremets and his colleagues at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Germany, is rooted in a theory proposed by Eugene Wigner and Hillard Bell Huntington back in 1935. The physicists predicted pure hydrogen becomes metallic at very high pressures – approximately 25GPa.

Theory predicts such a phase would conduct at ‘room temperature or even higher,’ according to Isaac Silvera, from the University of Harvard, US, who was not involved in the work. One of the reasons for this is the hydrogen lattices’ ability to vibrate and force electrons into pairs. These Cooper pairs flow freely through the metallic hydrogen without any resistance.

But obtaining the sought-after metal has proven ‘very difficult’ in the past few decades, Silvera goes on to explain. To be any use for real world applications the metallic hydrogen needs to be metastable and remain in this metallic state at everyday pressure, something which has never been achieved.

“If we can’t get pure metallic hydrogen or if that’s more challenging, what about looking at [hydrogen-rich] compounds,” said Silvera. That is exactly what Eremets and his colleagues set out to do.

The team in Germany placed hydrogen sulfide (H2S), a toxic gas that smells like rotten eggs, into a diamond anvil cell (DAC). Placed between the flattened tips of two diamonds in a metal tube, the gas is condensed under low temperatures to produce liquid H2S. When the H2S is subjected to tremendous pressures in the DAC it develops a metallic character. Using this DAC the team were able to produce pressures comparable to those at the centre of planets – up to 150GPa.

Eremets and his colleagues found that the resulting metallic compound superconducted at 190K (-83°C) at pressures of 150GPa. Although the team know H2S superconducts, it still remains unclear why. The team said, H2S may dissociate and form a hydride, which may be a likely cause of the high superconductivity.

Silvera welcomed the work from the Max Planck Institute but added that more will have to be done to understand the nature of this superconductor. 


© Royal Society of Chemistry News 



Your Comments (Up to 2000 characters)
Please respect our community and the integrity of its participants. WOC reserves the right to moderate and approve your comment.

Related News

SunEdison, JPM to invest in solar energy development fund

BELMONT, US: SunEdison Inc, a leading global solar technology manufacturer and provider of solar energy services, announced an agreement with JPM Capi ...

Read more
Improving rare-earth separation process

IOWA, US: US Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory and Critical Materials Institute materials chemist Anja Mudring is harnessing the promising ...

Read more
Mitsubishi Gas Chemical to invest in shale gas development in Canada

TOKYO, JAPAN: Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Company, Inc (MGC) has decided to participate in a shale gas development and production project in British Colum ...

Read more
Reliance, Mitsui OSK JV for liquefied ethane transportation from North America to India

MUMBAI, INDIA: Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has signed agreements with Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd (MOL), one of the world’s largest and reputed shipp ...

Read more
Mistletoe may fight obesity-related liver disease

WASHINGTON DC, US: Mistletoe may have better effect on liver health. Researchers have found that a compound produced by a particular variety of the pl ...

Read more
H.B. Fuller to acquire industrial adhesives provider, Continental

ST PAUL, US: H.B. Fuller Company has signed an agreement to purchase Continental Products Limited, a provider of industrial adhesives in East and Cent ...

Read more
www.worldofchemicals.com uses cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By using this site, you agree to our Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use. X