Review on high-Tc superconductors: Methods and Materials

I am very excited to finally release my latest work that has been running on parallel for more than a year. Notably, the last five months have been of an intense, insane amount of work.

The number of hours invested in this work has been many more from the initially planned. I wish to thank my collaborators, especially the experimental colleagues (M. Eremets) who have recently measured 250 K superconductivity!

The referees of work and other colleagues have remarked that our work is perhaps the most complete and thoroughly detailed Review in this field. This Review is dedicated to one of the hottest subjects: high pressure, hydrogen-based superconductors.

The approximate number of publications in the field of hydrides per decade. The first hydride rush took place right after Ashcroft’s and Ginzburg’s prediction of high-T c superconductivity in hydrogen at the end of the 60s. The second hydride rush started at the dawn of the 2000s, and the third is starting now (2019) after the discovery of LaH10 and will continue through the following decade. The expected number of publications in the field by the year 2030 is above 10,000.

Abstract

Two hydrogen-rich materials, H3S and LaH10, synthesized at megabar pressures, have revolutionized the field of condensed matter physics providing the first glimpse to the solution of the hundred-year-old problem of room temperature superconductivity. The mechanism underlying superconductivity in these exceptional compounds is the conventional electron-phonon coupling. Here we describe recent advances in experimental techniques, superconductivity theory and first-principles computational methods which made this discovery possible. This work aims to provide an up-to-date compendium of the available results on superconducting hydrides and explain how the synergy of different methodologies led to extraordinary discoveries in the field. Besides, in an attempt to evidence empirical rules governing superconductivity in binary hydrides under pressure, we discuss general trends in the electronic structure and chemical bonding. The last part of the Review introduces possible strategies to optimize pressure and transition temperatures in conventional superconducting materials as well as future directions in theoretical, computational and experimental research. This work would appear as a Review on Physics Reports 2020 (Link to ArXiv).