Scientists have synthesized a new high-temperature superconductor

Yttrium hydrides are among the three highest-temperature superconductors currently known. On the first

place in this trio is a substance with an unknowncomposition in the SCH system and superconductivity at a temperature of 288 K, on ​​the second - lanthanum hydride LaH10 (superconductivity temperature up to 259 K), and on the third - yttrium hydrides YH6 and YH9 with a maximum superconductivity temperature of 224 Kelvin (-49.15 ° C) and 243 K (–30.15 ° C), respectively. Superconductivity of YH6 was predicted by Chinese scientists in 2015. All of these hydrides reach their maximum superconducting temperatures at very high pressures: 1.4 to 2.7 million atmospheres. It is the need for high pressure that is the main obstacle to mass production of them in large volumes.

Until 2015, a record high temperaturesuperconductivity was 138 K (–135.15 ° C), 166 K (–107.15 ° C) under pressure. Now the goal of scientists is to obtain room superconductivity at lower pressures.

Scientists have synthesized a new high-temperature superconductor. Courtesy: Ivan A. Troyan et al. / Additional materials.

The highest temperature superconductors werefirst predicted by theory and then created and studied experimentally. First of all, chemists who study new substances make theoretical predictions, and then they test them in practice.

Usually theoretical calculations allowpredict critical temperatures of superconductivity with an error of about 10–15%, as well as critical magnetic fields with comparable accuracy. In the case of yttrium hydride YH6, theory and experiment are in poor agreement. For example, the experimental critical magnetic field turns out to be 2-2.5 times higher than the theoretical predictions. This is the first time scientists have encountered this, and an explanation has yet to be found. It is possible that this substance contains additional physical effects that were not taken into account in previous theoretical works.

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Yttrium hydrides are binary inorganic compounds of yttrium and hydrogen metal with the formula YHₓ

Lanthanum (III) hydride is a binary inorganic compound of lanthanum metal and hydrogen with the formula LaH₃, dark blue crystals, react with water