University of Chicago scientists are part of an international research team that has discovered superconductivity—the ability to conduct electricity perfectly—at the highest temperatures ever recorded.

Using advanced technology at Argonne National Laboratory, the team studied a class of materials in which they observed superconductivity at temperatures of about minus-23 degrees Celsius (minus-9 degrees Fahrenheit)—a jump of about 50 degrees compared to the previous confirmed record.

Though the superconductivity happened under extremely high pressure, the result still represents a big step toward creating superconductivity at room temperature—the ultimate goal for scientists to be able to use this phenomenon for advanced technologies. The results were published May 22 in the journal Nature; Vitali Prakapenka, a research professor at the University of Chicago, and Eran Greenberg, a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Chicago, are co-authors of the research.

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Image courtesy of Drozdov et al