A group of scientists from the Carnegie Institution and Russian Academy of Sciences report in this week's Nature magazine the surprising observation that sulfur becomes a superconductor at 93 GPa (9.3 million atmospheres). At this pressure, pure sulfur transforms to a superconductor with a Tc (critical temperature) of 10 K, or -263°C. As pressure increases, so does the superconducting temperature, at a rate of .06 K per GPa (up to 14K). At a pressure of 160 GPa (the highest measured in the current experiments), Tc again increases--to 17 K. In a related study, appearing in this week's Physical Review Letters, the same authors report the first measurements on a known superconductor, the metal niobium, above one million atmospheres (or one megabar)--to 132 GPa.
The above story is based on materials provided by Carnegie Institution. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
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