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Science. 2008 Mar 14;319(5869):1506-9. doi: 10.1126/science.1153282.

Superconductivity in hydrogen dominant materials: silane.

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Max Planck Institute für Chemie, Postfach 3060, 55020 Mainz, Germany.


The metallization of hydrogen directly would require pressure in excess of 400 gigapascals (GPa), out of the reach of present experimental techniques. The dense group IVa hydrides attract considerable attention because hydrogen in these compounds is chemically precompressed and a metallic state is expected to be achievable at experimentally accessible pressures. We report the transformation of insulating molecular silane to a metal at 50 GPa, becoming superconducting at a transition temperature of Tc = 17 kelvin at 96 and 120 GPa. The metallic phase has a hexagonal close-packed structure with a high density of atomic hydrogen, creating a three-dimensional conducting network. These experimental findings support the idea of modeling metallic hydrogen with hydrogen-rich alloy.

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