Will a lead-apatite class superconductor with a warm Tc be found before 2025?

Metaculus
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Exceptionally unlikely
Yes

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The supposed room-temperature superconductor LK-99 has inspired lots of discussion. Among the replication attempts are claims that LK-99 is a superconductor at 110K Tc.

If it is, that would be a new family of unusually high temperature ambient pressure superconductors. So far, all the high temperature ambient pressure superconductors are based on cuprates or iron.

Early superconductors were all found at very low temperatures, and discoveries above 20K were not made until the 1970s. High-temperature superconductors are usually defined as those with Tc above 77K, but even superconductors exceeding 30K are fairly unusual materials.

Other superconductor families include metals and metal alloys, nickelates, carbon compounds (fullerenes, nanotubes, diamond, and doped relatives), and some high-pressure families. None of the ceramics and oxides include lead or phosphorous as major constituents.

The propose LK-99 structure is CuO25P6Pb9. It is almost entirely lead, oxygen, and phosphorus.

One of the many questions surround LK-99 is whether the described composition is correct, and in particular whether trace impurities are important. Variant recipes have been suggested, along with questions about replacing the copper with other elements.

Rather than asking whether LK-99 as described superconducts at room temperature, this question asks the much broader question of whether any related material superconducts at a much broader temperature range.

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Exceptionally unlikely

The supposed room-temperature superconductor LK-99 has inspired lots of discussion. Among the replication attempts are claims that LK-99 is a superconductor at 110K Tc.

If it is, that would be a new family of unusually high temperature ambient...

Last updated: 2024-07-14
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Metaculus
Forecasts: 85

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