Breakthrough Discovery of Room Temperature Superconductor ‘Reddmatter’
Incredible materials possessing superconductivity have remarkable implications. Once attained, these materials can enable electricity to flow with no resistance, therefore no energy is lost. Materials typically become superconductive at very low temperatures. The pursuit to discover a superconductor that can operate at room temperature is still going, and is not without its fair share of scientific excitement. Researchers at the University of Rochester have made a major advancement: they have developed a superconducting material that operates at 69°F and 10 kilobars (145,000 psi) of pressure.
This nitrogen-doped lutetium hydride (NDLH) has been created at both a temperature and pressure low enough for practical applications. Ranga Dias, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering and of physics, has stated that ambient superconductivity and related technologies have arrived due to this material. In a paper in Nature, the researchers describe the NDLH that exhibits superconductivity at 69 degrees Fahrenheit and 10 kilobars (145,000 pounds per square inch, or psi) of pressure.
The material has been given the name “reddmatter”, due to its reddish hue and as a reference to a material from Star Trek. Scientists discovered the name of the element during its creation process, when it unexpectedly changed to a “very bright red” color.
In recent years, a “working recipe” for creating superconducting materials has been generated by combining rare earth metals with hydrogen, and then adding nitrogen or carbon, to form hydrides. Rare earth metal hydrides form clathrate-like cage structures when described technically; the rare earth metal ions functioning as carrier donors supply sufficient electrons to increase the dissociation of H2 molecules. Materials are stabilized by nitrogen and carbon. Superconductivity requires less pressure to happen.
Dias and his team combined 99% hydrogen and 1% nitrogen in a gas mixture, which they put in a reaction chamber containing a pure sample of lutetium. The components were heated to 392°F and allowed to react for 2-3 days.
It was observed that the newly formed lutetium-nitrogen-hydrogen compound had a “lustrous bluish color,” the paper stated.
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