The odds would be overwhelming for Sabine’s prediction that LK99 will prove not to be a room temperature superconductor. If an explanation is that it was a regular copper sulfide transition with some minor magnetic effect. However, the theory and simulation work indicates that certain variations of copper positioning and oxygenation might still be highly promising. The copper sulfide error has not been confirmed. The Lk99 patent called out copper sulfide an impurity. The original researchers seem to have been aware of this. The assertion by other researchers is that the original korean researchers were very substandard and nearly incompetent. This is possible but not proven.
Superconductors exhibit zero-resistivity and perfect diamagnetism, making them important in applications such as nuclear magnetic resonance, maglev trains, superconducting quantum computing, and lossless power transmission, etc.
First order transition in Pb10-xCux(PO4)6O containing Cu2S
Shilin Zhu, Wei Wu#, Zheng Li, Jianlin Luo$
Beijing National Laboratory for Condensed Matter Physics and Institute of Physics,
Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China
Phase Transition of Copper Sulfide Could Have Fooled Original Researchers
The Beijing National Laboratory measured transport and magnetic properties of pure Cu2S as well as the mixture LK-99/Cu2S, and reproduced the experimental results of resistivity. They found a sharp drop in resistivity (1000 to ten thousand times less). However, none of them show zero-resistivity. The
superconducting-like behavior in LK-99 most likely originates from a magnitude reduction in resistivity caused by the first-order structural phase transition of Cu2S.
This is highly likely what would cause the original scientists to make a mistake in seeing what looks like a big drop in resistance at high temperature to think it might be a superconductor. They saw a superconductor like transition. However, the resistance is too high.
What is Still Needed?
The peer reviewed analysis of the original LK99 has not been done. Is something else going on? The Copper Sulfide paper needs to get peer reviewed, but it seems clear and thorough.
The original paper discussed the thin film version of LK99 was the one with the superconducting resistance level. The thin film resistance needs to be known.
The possible superconducting at 100-110K (-169celsius) paper and work needs to be investigated and peer reviewed. This would still be relevant scientific result as part of the larger superconducting puzzle.
Multiple DFT and theory analysis indicating that there are highly promising arrangements of copper atoms, gold and silver substitutions and oxygenation of this arrangement. This needs to be fully investigated. The material science investigation in this area could eventually lead or be a key puzzle piece to room temperature superconductors. This was an unknown material science zone of interest. Having a fall from hype to a trough of disillusionment until eventual significant development is not the same as it all was completely nothing. Without rapid relevant results and news then public interest will drop off but the long material science work needs to progress for such a potential promising development.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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