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Scientists from Russia and China have found that the superconducting compound of tin and hydrogen they have created has exotic magnetic properties, characteristic of the so-called «strange metals». This discovery points to a possible connection between two types of promising superconductors — cuprates and superhydrides. press office Skoltech. The study was published in the journal advanced science.
Our work is one of the first links between the quantum-rich region of cuprate superconductivity and high-pressure hydride superconductivity. Other superconducting hydrides of great practical importance, such as lanthanum superhydride LaH10, can also turn out to be “strange” metals, which makes it interesting to further study their properties.— said Dmitry Semenok, a researcher at the HPSTAR Center for High Pressures in Beijing, quoted by the Skoltech press service.
The study was carried out as part of a large-scale project by Russian and foreign physicists and chemists aimed at creating high-temperature superconductors capable of operating at almost room temperatures. Similar properties, as discovered by scientists, have superhydrides of lanthanum, uranium, actinium and a number of other heavy metals. Recently, scientists have discovered similar superconducting properties in a compound of hydrogen and tin (SnH4).
As part of this work, we loaded liquid stannan, a molecular tin hydride SnH4, into a diamond chamber. When squeezing diamonds, huge pressure develops, up to 2-2.5 million atmospheres. As a result, the properties of the substance change — the transparent liquid SnH4 turns into a semiconductor, then becomes a metal, and then a superconductor with a critical temperature of 72 degrees Kelvin (minus 200 degrees Celsius)— quotes Semenok TASS.
Subsequent study of the properties of this material indicated that it is not only a high-temperature superconductor, but also has exotic magnetic and electrical properties. In particular, scientists have uncovered an unusual relationship between the electrical and magnetic resistance of tin hydride, as well as the temperature and strength of the applied magnetic field. This is not characteristic of other superconductors based on hydrogen compounds.
As physicists note, this set of characteristics makes the variation of tin hydride discovered by Russian and Chinese researchers related to «strange metals». So scientists call materials in which electrons behave not like a quantum liquid, whose properties are described by Lev Landau’s theory, but like a more complex substance. Among the «strange metals» is another class of superconductors — cuprates, complex compounds of copper.
The researchers hope that further study of the properties of SnH4 and other similar superhydrides will provide insight into how often superhydride superconductors are «strange metals» in the non-superconducting state. This will allow us to understand what quantum effects generate unusual features of these materials and find out if they are associated with similar characteristics of cuprates, which have a completely different chemical composition and structure.