Among elemental compounds, the high-pressure superconducting phase diagram of phosphorus is one of the most complex. In this work, we measured electrical resistivity and performed ab initio superconductivity calculations in order to solve, for the first time the open controversies on the anomalous superconducting trends. Our work forms on a single picture a consistent scenario of multiple metastable structures which coexist beyond their thermodynamical stability range.
These metastable structures exhibit critical temperatures, which are distinctively higher than the putative ground-state structures, suggesting that the selective stabilization of metastable phases represents a viable strategy to improve superconductivity properties on conventional superconductors.
This work is just highlighted this month ad an Editor’s Suggestion and published in Phy. Rev. Materials. (see my Publications)