Picene spiked with potassium ions is a hydrocarbon superconductor at a balmy 18 Kelvin, according to scientists in Japan. The discovery could offer new clues to make even hotter superconductors. The work of Ryoji Mitsuhashi and colleagues at Okayama University follows on from earlier work by UK scientists with potassium-spiked fullerenes. The symmetry of picene should not give rise to superconductivity and so the new results open up alternative explanations of the phenomenon in this kind of material.
Spiked picene is super!