Published in Chemistry World, 3 Mar 2010
Researchers in Japan have created the first superconducting material based on a molecule of carbon and hydrogen atoms. Although the superconducting transition occurs at a chilly 18K, the simplicity of the molecule, which consists of just five benzene rings, suggests that it will open the door to other molecules that have higher transition temperatures.
Superconductivity occurs when a material is cooled below a certain transition temperature (Tc) so that its electrical resistance disappears. The first superconductors were pure metals and had Tc values close to absolute zero, but over the past 25 years scientists have begun to discover various ‘high-Tc‘ materials, including cuprates and, most recently, iron arsenides. Ideally, the material would have a Tc at or above room temperature, so that it could be used without cooling in technologies such as lossless power transmission and magnetic levitation. [...]
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