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Monserrat_2018_3

Superconductivity at extreme pressures

Superconductivity was discovered over a century ago, but so far we have been unable to find a room temperature superconductor. Phonon-mediated superconductivity has traditionally been regarded to lead to lower critical temperatures when compared to so-called high temperature superconductors. However, it has been very recently demonstrated that a compound of hydrogen and sulfur under extreme pressures (close to those at the centre of the Earth), which is a phonon-mediated superconductor, has a critical temperature of 200 K, the highest ever recorded.

In this project, we will use quantum mechanical simulations to study superconductivity in a range of materials under extreme pressures. The objective will be to understand the necessary ingredients that lead to such high critical temperatures at high pressure, and try to replicate them under ambient conditions.