Dresden 2020 – wissenschaftliches Programm
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CPP 99: Frontiers in Electronic-Structure Theory - Focus on Electron-Phonon Interactions V (joint session O/CPP/DS/HL)
CPP 99.1: Hauptvortrag
Donnerstag, 19. März 2020, 15:00–15:30, GER 38
Huge quantum effects on the 250 K superconducting lanthanum hydride — •Ion Errea — University of the Basque Country, Donostia/San Sebastián, Spain
The discovery of superconductivity at 200 K in the hydrogen sulfide system at large pressures was a clear demonstration that hydrogen-rich materials can be high-temperature superconductors. The recent synthesis of LaH10 with a superconducting critical temperature (Tc) of 250 K place these materials at the verge of reaching the long-dreamed room-temperature superconductivity. Here we show that quantum atomic fluctuations stabilize in the superconducting pressure range a high-symmetry Fm-3m crystal structure consistent with experiments, which has a colossal electron-phonon coupling of 3.5. Even if ab initio classical calculations predict this structure to distort below 230 GPa yielding a complex energy landscape, the inclusion of quantum effects evidences the Fm-3m as the true ground state. The agreement between the calculated and experimental Tc values further supports this phase as responsible for the 250 K superconductivity. The relevance of quantum fluctuations questions many of the crystal structure predictions made for hydrides within a classical approach that at the moment guide the experimental quest for room-temperature superconductivity. Furthermore, quantum effects are revealed to be crucial to stabilize solids with extraordinary electron-phonon coupling, which may otherwise be destabilized by the large electron-phonon interaction, reducing the pressures needed for their synthesis.