For the first time in the world, researchers (From Korea University, Sukbae Lee, Ji-Hoon Kim, Hyun-Tak Kim) have succeeded in synthesizing a room-temperature superconductor (Tc≥400 K, 127∘C) working at ambient pressure with a modified lead-apatite (LK-99) structure. The superconductivity of LK-99 is proved with the Critical temperature (Tc), Zero-resistivity, Critical current (Ic), Critical magnetic field (Hc), and the Meissner effect. The superconductivity of LK-99 originates from minute structural distortion by a slight volume shrinkage (0.48 %), not by external factors such as temperature and pressure. The shrinkage is caused by Cu2+ substitution of Pb2+(2) ions in the insulating network of Pb(2)-phosphate and it generates the stress. It concurrently transfers to Pb(1) of the cylindrical column resulting in distortion of the cylindrical column interface, which creates superconducting quantum wells (SQWs) in the interface. The heat capacity results indicated that the new model is suitable for explaining the superconductivity of LK-99. The unique structure of LK-99 that allows the minute distorted structure to be maintained in the interfaces is the most important factor that LK-99 maintains and exhibits superconductivity at room temperatures and ambient pressure.
NOTE: More charts of resistance is leaning towards this being a strong diamagnet and not a superconductor. The researchers were likely mistaken and not frauds.
The First Room-Temperature Ambient-Pressure Superconductor:
A material called LK-99, a modified-lead apatite crystal structure, achieves superconductivity at room temperature. pic.twitter.com/Xlm90Zabtg
— AI Breakfast (@AiBreakfast) July 26, 2023
We’ve been getting excited over the years about superconducting materials that don’t even quite have to be cooled with liquid nitrogen, and this stuff is claimed to superconduct all the way up to room temperature and indeed up past the boiling point of water. Its critical temperature is said to be 127C (!) The phrase “boiling-water superconductor” is not one that I had ever used until yesterday.
Whether LK-99 itself becomes a big industrial material is open to question – one of the things you get from the characterization data is that LK-99 is not able to carry much current in its superconducting state at these high temperatures, and that’s a key property for many applications. That might not be surprising, either, because other superconductors generally carry less current density the higher the temperature gets (i.e., the closer to the critical temperature). But it has to be noted that this is indeed a polycrystalline material as synthesized, and that junctions between the different crystal domains can affect this profoundly. We also don’t have a feeling for how such a quantum-well superconductor behaves in general, if that’s how it works. If this is real, vast amounts of work will go into seeing if that current density can be increased by more careful synthesis and fabrication.
It’s a gigantic step to just show that such things can exist. That’s what will shake everyone up well before any applications come along, and if this reproduces, labs around the world will frantically start looking for quantum-well superconducting materials of their own. Who knows what could come out of that? Robust high-current-density room-temperature superconductors are right out of science fiction. Electrical generation and transmission, antennas, power storage, magnet applications (including things like fusion power plants), electric motors and basically everything that runs on electricity would be affected.
There have been near or possibly at room temperature superconductors that had to be put into a diamond vice to make the pressures. Those were not practical. This material can be made in 34 hours using basic lab equipment.
The recent success of developing room-temperature superconductors with hydrogen sulfide and yttrium super-hydride has great attention worldwide, which is expected by strong electron-phonon coupling theory with high-frequency hydrogen phonon modes. However, it is difficult to apply them to actual application devices in daily life because of the tremendously high pressure, and more efforts are being made to overcome the high-pressure problem.
The stress generated by the Cu2+ replacement of Pb(2)2+ ion was not relieved due to the structural uniqueness of LK-99 and at the same time was appropriately transferred to the interface of the cylindrical column. In other words, the Pb(1) atoms in the cylindrical column interface of LK-99 occupy a structurally limited space. These atoms are entirely affected by the stress and strain generated by Cu2+ ions. Therefore, SQWs can be generated in the interface by an appropriate amount of distortion(57) at room temperature and ambient pressure without a relaxation. From this point of view, the stress due to volume contraction by temperature and pressure is relieved and disappeared in CuO- and Fe-based superconductor systems because the relaxation process cannot be limited due to the structural freedom. Therefore, they need an appropriate temperature or pressure to limit the structural freedom and to achieve the SQW generation. The LK-99 is a very useful material for the study of superconductivity puzzles at room temperature.
All evidence and explanation lead that LK-99 is the first room-temperature and ambient-pressure superconductor. The LK-99 has many possibilities for various applications such as magnet, motor, cable, levitation train, power cable, qubit for a quantum computer, THz
Antennas, etc. The researchers believe that the new development will be a brand-new historical event that opens a new era for humankind.
Today might have seen the biggest physics discovery of my lifetime. I don’t think people fully grasp the implications of an ambient temperature / pressure superconductor. Here’s how it could totally change our lives.
— Alex Kaplan (@alexkaplan0) July 26, 2023
2. According to the authors, the LK-99 material can be prepared in about 34 hrs with extremely basic lab equipment (a mortar & pestle, basic vacuum, and furnace). These results could replicate within days-weeks. pic.twitter.com/4opttoVq1z
— Alex Kaplan (@alexkaplan0) July 26, 2023
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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