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Superconductivity – New temperature record achieved

A magnet hovers over a high-temperature super conductor cooled to -200 °C with liquid nitrogen. By Peter Nussbaumer
A magnet hovers over a high-temperature super conductor cooled to -200 °C with liquid nitrogen. By Peter Nussbaumer

It smells of rotten eggs but still fasci­nates physicists around the world ... hydrogen sulfide H2S. Normally, hy­­dro­gen sulfide is a poisonous and bad smelling gas.

Researchers around Mikhail Eremets and Alexander Drozdov of the Max-Planck-Institute of Chemistry in Mainz, Germany, have now shown that hydrogen sulfide can take on a highly desired property – it becomes superconductive at the unbelievable temperature of 203 K (-70°C).

This is a new temperature record and it means a giant step towards a material that becomes superconductive at room temperature. This is why the experiment was soon labeled “historic” or even “The Holy Grail of superconductivity”.

With a diamond cell, hydrogen sul­fide was put under a pressure of 150 GPa (approx. 1.5 million bar). Characteristic features of superconductive material were detected below 203 K: zero electrical resistance and the fact that an external field did not lead to a field inside the material (Meissner effect).

Both a Quantum Design PPMS and MPMS system were used for the experiment to reproduce the transition temperature and determine the magnetic properties. Both systems have a superconductive magnet and work in a temperature range of 1.9 K to 400 K. They allow fully automated temperature- and magnetic-field-dependent measurements. Please contact us for fur­ther possible applications.

The ori­ginal article can be found under:
Drozdov et al. Nature 524, 277 (20 August 2015) “Conventional superconductivity at 203 kelvin at high pressures in the sulfur hydride system”.
Read more on the Max-Planck Society website: http://www.mpg.de/9362409/supraleitung-schwefelwasserstoff-hochdruck

Image source [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

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