Pressure-Induced Superconductivity in the Wide-Band-Gap Semiconductor Cu2Br2Se6with a Robust Framework

Weizhao Cai, Wenwen Lin, Yan Yan, Katerina P. Hilleke, Jared Coles, Jin Ke Bao, Jingui Xu, Dongzhou Zhang, Duck Young Chung, Mercouri G. Kanatzidis*, Eva Zurek, Shanti Deemyad

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


We report pressure-induced superconductivity in a ternary and nonmagnetic Cu-containing semiconductor, Cu2Br2Se6, with a wide band gap of 1.89 eV, in which the Cu and Br atoms generate infinite 21 helical chains along the c-axis and are linked by the cyclohexane-like Se6 rings to form a three-dimensional framework. We find that this framework is remarkably robust under compression, and the ambient-pressure phase survives at least to our experimental limit of 32.1 GPa. Concurrent semiconductor-to-metal transition and superconductivity are observed above 21.0 GPa. The superconducting temperature monotonically increases from 4.0 to 6.7 K at 40.0 GPa. First-principles calculations show that the emergence of superconductivity is associated with the formation of weak multicentered bonds that involve the increase in coordination of the Cu atoms and a subset of the Se atoms. The observation of superconductivity in this type of nonmagnetic transition-metal-based material will inspire the exploration of related new superconductors under pressure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6237-6246
Number of pages10
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 28 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Chemistry


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