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  1. The search for room temperature superconductivity has accelerated in the last few years driven by experimentally accessible theoretical predictions that indicated alloying dense hydrogen with other elements could produce conventional superconductivity at high temperatures and pressures. These predictions helped inform the synthesis of simple binary hydrides that culminated in the discovery of the superhydride LaH 10 with a superconducting transition temperature T c of 260 K at 180 GPa. We have now successfully synthesized a metallic La-based superhydride with an initial T c of 294 K. When subjected to subsequent thermal excursions that promoted a chemical reaction to a higher order system, the T c onset was driven irreversibly to 556 K. X-ray characterization confirmed the formation of a distorted LaH 10 based backbone that suggests the formation of ternary or quaternary compounds with substitution at the La and/or H sites. The results provide evidence for hot superconductivity, aligning with recent predictions for higher order hydrides under pressure.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 4, 2023
  2. X-ray diffraction indicates that the structure of the recently discovered carbonaceous sulfur hydride (C-S-H) room temperature superconductor is derived from previously established van der Waals compounds found in the H2S-H2 and CH4-H2 systems. Crystals of the superconducting phase were produced by a photochemical synthesis technique leading to the superconducting critical temperature Tc of 288 K at 267 GPa. X-ray diffraction patterns measured from 124 to 178 GPa, within the pressure range of the superconducting phase, are consistent with an orthorhombic structure derived from the Al2Cu-type determined for (H2S)2H2 and (CH4)2H2 that differs from those predicted and observed for the S-H system to these pressures. The formation and stability of the C-S-H compound can be understood in terms of the close similarity in effective volumes of the H2S and CH4 components, and denser carbon-bearing S-H phases may form at higher pressures. The results are crucial for understanding the very high superconducting Tc found in the C-S-H system at megabar pressures.
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2023