Duke University scientists say they’ve discovered a theoretical metal sandwich that might be able to break superconductor records.
The researchers at Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering found a new lithium monoboride compound is a binary alloy consisting of two layers of boron — the bread of the atomic sandwich — with lithium metal filling in between.
Once the material is synthesized, the scientists say it should be superconductive at a higher temperature than any other superconductors in its class.
Superconductive materials have no resistance to the flow of electric current.
To the best of our knowledge, this alloy structure had not been considered before, said Stefano Curtarolo, professor of mechanical engineering and materials sciences.
The significance of the work is not only the discovery of lithium monoboride itself, but also that this opens the door to finding derivatives that could aid in the search for additional novel superconductors, added Aleksey Kolmogorov, lead author of the study.
The research is reported in the May 5 online edition of the journal Physical Review B, Rapid Communications.