High-Pressure Synthesis of Missing Pnictide Superconductors

  • Freedman, Danna E (PD/PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


The realization of high temperature superconductivity would be a transformative advance, with implications across NSF directorates, ranging from medical imaging to fault tolerant power transmission. Thus far, the vast majority of new superconductors have been found either by serendipity, modification of known superconducting systems, or through the investigation of theoretically unlikely candidates. In stark contrast, targeted synthesis of new systems is underdeveloped, owing to the inherent difficulty of predicting new superconducting materials. To enable rational progress, a clear design strategy is needed, which necessitates knowing the operative superconducting mechanism in a given class of superconductors. Herein, we propose the synthesis of the notably missing subclass of Fe–Bi pnictide superconductors via high-pressure synthesis. This work is motivated by our recent discovery of the first Fe–Bi bond in the solid-state, achieved through the application of high pressure and stabilized owing to the formation of Bi—Bi interactions. We will characterize novel materials both through in situ and bulk X-ray diffraction and spectroscopic methods. Materials will be physically probed via magnetometry, resistivity, and heat capacity measurements. The aggregate of these data will provide insight into the mechanism of superconductivity, and possible structure/function insight. Creating and understanding different superconductors offers promise for true discovery within this complex field.
Effective start/end date6/15/186/30/21


  • National Science Foundation (DMR-1801632-002)


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