High-Temperature Superconducting Phases in Cerium Superhydride with a Tc up to 115 K below a Pressure of 1 Megabar

Wuhao Chen, Dmitrii V. Semenok, Xiaoli Huang, Haiyun Shu, Xin Li, Defang Duan, Tian Cui, Artem R. Oganov

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45 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The discoveries of high-temperature superconductivity in H3S and LaH10 have excited the search for superconductivity in compressed hydrides, finally leading to the first discovery of a room-temperature superconductor in a carbonaceous sulfur hydride. In contrast to rapidly expanding theoretical studies, high-pressure experiments on hydride superconductors are expensive and technically challenging. Here, we experimentally discovered superconductivity in two new phases, Fm3¯m-CeH10 (SC-I phase) and P63/mmc-CeH9 (SC-II phase) at pressures that are much lower (<100 GPa) than those needed to stabilize other polyhydride superconductors. Superconductivity was evidenced by a sharp drop of the electrical resistance to zero and decreased critical temperature in deuterated samples and in external magnetic field. SC-I has Tc=115 K at 95 GPa, showing an expected decrease in further compression due to the decrease of the electron-phonon coupling (EPC) coefficient λ (from 2.0 at 100 GPa to 0.8 at 200 GPa). SC-II has Tc=57 K at 88 GPa, rapidly increasing to a maximum Tc∼100 K at 130 GPa, and then decreasing in further compression. According to the theoretical calculation, this is due to a maximum of λ at the phase transition from P63/mmc-CeH9 into a symmetry-broken modification C2/c-CeH9. The pressure-temperature conditions of synthesis affect the actual hydrogen content and the actual value of Tc. Anomalously low pressures of stability of cerium superhydrides make them appealing for studies of superhydrides and for designing new superhydrides with stability at even lower pressures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number117001
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume127
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sep 2021

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