Translated by
2019/11/08 16:36:04

Thorium decahydride

2019: Scientists could synthesize superconducting material — thorium decahydride

On November 7, 2019 it became known that joint release from MIPT, Skoltech and RNF. Scientists under the leadership of professor of Skoltech and Artem Oganov and Ivan Troyan's MIPT from Institute of a crystallography of RAS could synthesize superconducting material ‒ decahydride of thorium (ThH10) with very high critical temperature of 161 To (-112C).

ThH10

Superconductivity — the surprising property of quantum materials leading to complete loss of electrical resistance in certain occasionally very severe conditions. Such materials are very interesting to electronics as they can find application in quantum computers and highly sensitive detectors. However there is a big complexity: this phenomenon is shown usually at very low temperatures or extremely high pressures. Until recently the record held mercury-containing kuprat with a temperature of superconductivity of 135 K (–138 °C). The record of this year is equal to -13 °C (decahydride of lanthanum, LaH10) that is very close to room temperature, but it is reached with very high pressures in nearly 2 million atmospheres that complicates practical use of this substance. It is important to find superconductivity at a temperature and pressure close to room.

In 2018 in laboratory of professor of Skoltech and Artyom Oganov's MIPT the employee Alexander Kvashnin made prediction of unknown substance, ThH10 thorium polyhydride, with a critical temperature of -32 °C with a pressure of 1 million atmospheres.

In a research scientists from Institute of a crystallography of RAS, Skoltech, MIPT and Physical institute of P.N. Lebedev (FIAN) managed to receive this substance and to investigate its transport properties and superconductivity. In consent with theoretical prediction, it was revealed that ThH10 exists with pressure over 0.85 million atmospheres and is outstanding high-temperature superconductor. Critical temperature managed to be determined only with a pressure of 1.7 million atmospheres where it turned out equal –112 °C that matches theoretical prediction for this pressure and already puts ThH10 in a row of record high-temperature superconductors.

«
the Modern theory and, in particular, the USPEX method developed by me and my pupils once again shows predictive power. The predicted substance, ThH10 which is not fitting into a framework of classical chemistry and having, according to the theory, special characteristics is confirmed now and an experiment. And quality of the experimental data obtained in Ivan Troyan's laboratory, very high

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«
We saw the superconductivity predicted by the theory at –112 °C and 1.7 million atmospheres. Considering the great consent of the theory and an experiment, it is interesting to learn whether will grow with more low pressures superconductivity of this substance to the predicted –30–40 °C,

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«
Hydride of thorium is only a separate link of the big, dynamically developing class of gidridny superconductors. I consider that in the next years the gidridny superconductivity will leave cryogenic area and will pass into the plane of designing of electronic devices on their basis,
emphasized the author of a research, the graduate student of Skoltech Dmitry Semenok
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