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New Insights of Superconductivity at Room Temperatures

New Insights of Superconductivity at Room Temperatures

Researchers at the George Washington University studying superconductivity at room temperature found that it could be used efficiently at room temperature

During the process of superconductivity, there occurs no electrical resistance when the materials are cooled below a critical temperature. The scientists assumed that superconducting materials cooled at very low temperature temperatures (minus 180 degrees Celsius or minus 292 degrees Fahrenheit), which limited its application.

However, scientists at the George Washington University discovered that by eliminating some of the electrical resistance, superconductors allow efficient electricity generation, enhanced energy transmission, and powerful computing systems. The research work was published in the journal Physical Review Letters in January 2019 issue.

Maddury Somayazulu, an associate research professor at the GW School of Engineering and Applied Science, said: “Superconductivity is perhaps one of the last great frontiers of scientific discovery that can transcend to everyday technological applications. Room temperature superconductivity has been the proverbial 'holy grail' waiting to be found, and achieving it—albeit at 2 million atmospheres—is a paradigm-changing moment in the history of science.”

The researchers developed a metallic, hydrogen-rich compound at very high pressures (about 2 million atmospheres), using diamond anvil cells. They then heated the samples and observed major changes in structure. This resulted in the formation of a new structure, LaH10, which the researchers previously predicted would be a superconductor at high temperatures.

The team observed that using X-ray diffraction, they were able to obtain the same result. They were able to achieve the transition occurring at even higher temperatures, up to 280 K. This was done through a synchrotron beamline of the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory in Argonne, Illinois.