Chin. Phys. Lett.  2021, Vol. 38 Issue (10): 107401    DOI: 10.1088/0256-307X/38/10/107401
CONDENSED MATTER: ELECTRONIC STRUCTURE, ELECTRICAL, MAGNETIC, AND OPTICAL PROPERTIES |
High $T_{\rm c}$ Superconductivity in Heavy Rare Earth Hydrides
Hao Song1, Zihan Zhang1, Tian Cui2,1*, Chris J. Pickard3,4, Vladimir Z. Kresin5, and Defang Duan1*
1State Key Laboratory of Superhard Materials, College of Physics, Jilin University, Changchun 130012, China
2Institute of High Pressure Physics, School of Physical Science and Technology, Ningbo University, Ningbo 315211, China
3Department of Materials Science & Metallurgy, University of Cambridge, 27 Charles Babbage Road, Cambridge CB3 0FS, United Kingdom
4Advanced Institute for Materials Research, Tohoku University 2-1-1 Katahira, Aoba, Sendai, 980-8577, Japan
5Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
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Hao Song, Zihan Zhang, Tian Cui et al  2021 Chin. Phys. Lett. 38 107401
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Abstract Sulfur and lanthanum hydrides under compression display superconducting states with high observed critical temperatures. It has been recently demonstrated that carbonaceous sulfur hydride displays room temperature superconductivity. However, this phenomenon has been observed only at very high pressure. Here, we theoretically search for superconductors with very high critical temperatures, but at much lower pressures. We describe two of such sodalite-type clathrate hydrides, YbH$_{6}$ and LuH$_{6}$. These hydrides are metastable and are predicted to superconduct with $T_{\rm c} \sim 145$ K at 70 GPa and $T_{\rm c} \sim 273$ K at 100 GPa, respectively. This striking result is a consequence of the strong interrelationship between the $f$ states present at the Fermi level, structural stability, and the final $T_{\rm c}$ value. For example, TmH$_{6}$, with unfilled 4$f$ orbitals, is stable at 50 GPa, but has a relatively low value of $T_{\rm c}$ of 25 K. The YbH$_{6}$ and LuH$_{6}$ compounds, with their filled $f$-shells, exhibit prominent phonon “softening”, which leads to a strong electron-phonon coupling, and as a result, an increase in $T_{\rm c}$.
Received: 20 August 2021      Express Letter Published: 08 September 2021
PACS:  74.25.Kc (Phonons)  
  63.20.Kr  
  64.60  
  -i  
Fund: Supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 12122405, 51632002, and 11974133), the Program for Changjiang Scholars and Innovative Research Team in Universities (Grant No. IRT_15R23). C.J.P. acknowledges financial support from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (Grant No. EP/P022596/1).
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http://cpl.iphy.ac.cn/10.1088/0256-307X/38/10/107401       OR      http://cpl.iphy.ac.cn/Y2021/V38/I10/107401
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Hao Song
Zihan Zhang
Tian Cui
Chris J. Pickard
Vladimir Z. Kresin
and Defang Duan
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