Potential high-Tc superconducting lanthanum and yttrium hydrides at high pressure [Physics]
A systematic structure search in the La–H and Y–H systems under pressure reveals some hydrogen-rich structures with intriguing electronic properties. For example, LaH10 is found to adopt a sodalite-like face-centered cubic (fcc) structure, stable above 200 GPa, and LaH8 a C2/m space group structure. Phonon calculations indicate both are dynamically stable; electron phonon calculations coupled to Bardeen–Cooper–Schrieffer (BCS) arguments indicate they might be high-Tc superconductors. In particular, the superconducting transition temperature Tc calculated for LaH10 is 274–286 K at 210 GPa. Similar calculations for the Y–H system predict stability of the sodalite-like fcc YH10 and a Tc above room temperature, reaching 305–326 K at 250 GPa. The study suggests that dense hydrides consisting of these and related hydrogen polyhedral networks may represent new classes of potential very high-temperature superconductors.
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