• Call for Physical Sciences Papers
  • Science Sessions: The PNAS Podcast Program

Robust zero resistance in a superconducting high-entropy alloy at pressures up to 190 GPa

  1. Liling Suna,b,e,2
  1. aInstitute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China;
  2. bDepartment of Physics, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China;
  3. cDepartment of Chemistry, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544;
  4. dShanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facilities, Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 201204, China;
  5. eCollaborative Innovation Center of Quantum Matter, Beijing, 100190, China
  1. Contributed by Robert J. Cava, November 1, 2017 (sent for review September 27, 2017; reviewed by M. Brian Maple and Maw-Kuen Wu)

Significance

High-entropy alloys (HEAs) are made from multiple transition-metal elements in equimolar or near-equimolar ratios. The elements in HEAs arrange themselves randomly on the crystallographic positions of a simple lattice. In addition to their excellent mechanical properties, one HEA has been reported to display superconductivity. In this work, we report that the Ta–Nb–Hf–Zr–Ti high-entropy alloy superconductor exhibits extraordinarily robust zero-resistance superconductivity under pressure up to 190.6 GPa. This is an observation of the zero-resistance state of a superconductor all the way from 1-bar pressure to the pressure of the earth’s outer core without structure phase transition, making the superconducting HEA a promising candidate for new application under extreme condition.

Abstract

We report the observation of extraordinarily robust zero-resistance superconductivity in the pressurized (TaNb)0.67(HfZrTi)0.33 high-entropy alloy––a material with a body-centered-cubic crystal structure made from five randomly distributed transition-metal elements. The transition to superconductivity (TC) increases from an initial temperature of 7.7 K at ambient pressure to 10 K at ~60 GPa, and then slowly decreases to 9 K by 190.6 GPa, a pressure that falls within that of the outer core of the earth. We infer that the continuous existence of the zero-resistance superconductivity from 1 atm up to such a high pressure requires a special combination of electronic and mechanical characteristics. This high-entropy alloy superconductor thus may have a bright future for applications under extreme conditions, and also poses a challenge for understanding the underlying quantum physics.

Footnotes

  • ?1J.G., H.W., and F.v.R. contributed equally to this work.

  • ?2To whom correspondence may be addressed. Email: rcava{at}princeton.edu or llsun{at}iphy.ac.cn.
  • Author contributions: R.J.C. and L.S. designed research; J.G., H.W., F.v.R., Z.W., S.C., Y.Z., K.Y., A.L., S.J., and L.S. performed research; J.G., H.W., F.v.R., Z.W., S.C., Y.Z., K.Y., A.L., S.J., Q.W., R.J.C., and L.S. analyzed data; and J.G., Q.W., R.J.C., and L.S. wrote the paper.

  • Reviewers: M.B.M., University of California, San Diego; and M.-K.W., Academia Sinica.

  • The authors declare no conflict of interest.

  • This article contains supporting information online at www.danielhellerman.com/lookup/suppl/doi:10.1073/pnas.1716981114/-/DCSupplemental.

Online Impact

                        1. 8479981288 2018-02-19
                        2. 4088241287 2018-02-19
                        3. 6348191286 2018-02-19
                        4. 4338491285 2018-02-19
                        5. 2501641284 2018-02-19
                        6. 2783851283 2018-02-19
                        7. 6592651282 2018-02-19
                        8. 1195271281 2018-02-19
                        9. 4085021280 2018-02-19
                        10. 5744491279 2018-02-19
                        11. 436941278 2018-02-19
                        12. 9816021277 2018-02-19
                        13. 82451276 2018-02-19
                        14. 8189251275 2018-02-18
                        15. 6298941274 2018-02-18
                        16. 8345181273 2018-02-18
                        17. 207841272 2018-02-18
                        18. 2683681271 2018-02-18
                        19. 5067491270 2018-02-18
                        20. 2051721269 2018-02-18