Chemists in the US have applied pressure to and chilled the solvent carbon disulfide to make it take on metallic characteristics. Choong-Shik Yoo and colleagues at Washington State University have used a diamond anvil cell to apply a pressure of about 5 gigapascals to their sample and cool it to 6.5 Kelvin. They demonstrated that under these conditions, the material adopts a crystalline form in which its electrons are free to move without resistance - they made a novel superconductor, in other words. The research provides new insight into how superconductivity works in unconventional materials, an area that has intrigued scientists for several decades, Yoo said. These unconventional materials are typically made of atoms with lower atomic weights that let them vibrate at higher frequencies, increasing their potential as superconductors at higher temperatures. Although 6.5 K is a lot balmier than the temperatures at which users like to operate devices and instruments that could benefit from superconductors, to say the least.
Solvent to superconductor