DOI: 10.1063/5.0159590 ISSN: 2468-2047

Design of high-temperature superconductors at moderate pressures by alloying AlH3 or GaH3

Xiaowei Liang, Xudong Wei, Eva Zurek, Aitor Bergara, Peifang Li, Guoying Gao, Yongjun Tian
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics

Since the discovery of hydride superconductors, a significant challenge has been to reduce the pressure required for their stabilization. In this context, we propose that alloying could be an effective strategy to achieve this. We focus on a series of alloyed hydrides with the AMH6 composition, which can be made via alloying A15 AH3 (A = Al or Ga) with M (M = a group ⅢB or IVB metal), and study their behavior under pressure. Seven of them are predicted to maintain the A15-type structure, similar to AH3 under pressure, providing a platform for studying the effects of alloying on the stability and superconductivity of AH3. Among these, the A15-type phases of AlZrH6 and AlHfH6 are found to be thermodynamically stable in the pressure ranges of 40–150 and 30–181 GPa, respectively. Furthermore, they remain dynamically stable at even lower pressures, as low as 13 GPa for AlZrH6 and 6 GPa for AlHfH6. These pressures are significantly lower than that required for stabilizing A15 AlH3. Additionally, the introduction of Zr or Hf increases the electronic density of states at the Fermi level compared with AlH3. This enhancement leads to higher critical temperatures (Tc) of 75 and 76 K for AlZrH6 and AlHfH6 at 20 and 10 GPa, respectively. In the case of GaMH6 alloys, where M represents Sc, Ti, Zr, or Hf, these metals reinforce the stability of the A15-type structure and reduce the lowest thermodynamically stable pressure for GaH3 from 160 GPa to 116, 95, 80, and 85 GPa, respectively. Particularly noteworthy are the A15-type GaMH6 alloys, which remain dynamically stable at low pressures of 97, 28, 5, and 6 GPa, simultaneously exhibiting high Tc of 88, 39, 70, and 49 K at 100, 35, 10, and 10 GPa, respectively. Overall, these findings enrich the family of A15-type superconductors and provide insights for the future exploration of high-temperature hydride superconductors that can be stabilized at lower pressures.

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