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The MagLab is funded by the National Science Foundation and the State of Florida.

Superconducting Hydride Under Extreme Magnetic Fields and Pressure

Published November 20, 2018

Superconducting upper critical fields as a function of temperature for two samples under pressures of 150 and 170 GPa.
Superconducting upper critical fields as a function of temperature for two samples under pressures of 150 and 170 GPa.

Dan Sun, National MagLab, Los Alamos National Laboratory

Scientists have long pursued the goal of superconductivity at room temperature. This work opens a route towards one day stabilizing superconductivity at room temperature, which could open tremendous technological opportunities.

What did scientists discover?

A recent collaboration among researchers at the MagLab and the Max Plank Institute for Chemistry characterized the high-magnetic-field properties of the hydride superconductors, the latest leap forward on the road to room-temperature superconductivity. Hydrogen sulfide, a gas that smells like rotten eggs, first becomes metallic then superconducting when squeezed between two anvils made of diamonds to pressures above one million atmospheres. At 170 GPa (about half the pressure estimated to exist at the Earth's core) the superconducting transition temperature achieves 203 Kelvin (about -70 degrees Celsius or -94 Fahrenheit), which is much higher than most known superconductors.

Why is this important?

Superconductivity is a state of a material in which the electrical resistance is exactly zero, meaning a current can flow without any frictional losses. The world will become a different place if room-temperature superconductivity is discovered and superconductivity can replace conventional conductivity in metals, in which friction and heating results in a waste of energy.

Who did the research?

S. Mozaffari1, L. Balicas1, V. S. Minkov2, D. Knyazev2, M. I. Eremets2, M. Einaga3, K. Shimizu3, D. Sun4, F. F. Balakirev4

1National MagLab, Florida State University; 2Max-Planck-Institut fur Chemie; 3Osaka University; 4National MagLab, Los Alamos National Laboratory

Why did this research need the MagLab?

High-temperature superconductors require very high magnetic fields to fully understand their properties. MagLab researchers found that fields as high as 100 teslas might not be strong enough to fully suppress superconductivity in hydrogen sulfide.

Details for scientists


This research was funded by the following grants: G.S. Boebinger (NSF DMR-1157490, NSF DMR-1644779); Balicas (DoE-BES DE-SC0002613); Eremets(ERC- 267777)

For more information, contact Luis Balicas.

Last modified on 26 December 2022