Hydrogen induces high-temperature superconductivity in a monolayer material

UAntwerp researchers from the CMT group, Dr Jonas Bekaert and Prof Milorad Milosevic, in collaboration with Swedish researchers have predicted that a atomically thin layer of hydrogen will boost the critical temperature of a thin superconductor to above a hundred kelvin.

Hydrogen-rich bulk superconducting materials have recently exhibited record-breaking critical temperatures, nearing the ambient temperature and thereby promising a major technological impact on the society. However, these hydrides have the practical disadvantage of requiring extreme pressures to become superconducting.

As a novel exploration route, a team of scientists from Belgium and Sweden has envisaged a layer of hydrogen adatoms could strongly alter the electronic and vibrational features of an atomically thin material, thereby enhancing its phonon-mediated superconductivity.

This idea was tested on a monolayer of magnesium diboride, where hydrogenation was demonstrated to elevate the critical temperature of the superconducting state to above a hundred kelvin - several times higher than in the absence of hydrogen!

This new approach to achieve high-temperature superconductivity, requiring no external pressure, remains to be applied to a number of ultrathin materials synthesized to date, holding promise for radical breakthroughs in novel heterostructured functional materials and their practical applications.

CMT-website

This work as published in Phys. Rev. Lett. 123, 077001 (2019).

Link: journals.aps.org/prl­/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.123.077001

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