Breaking Boundaries: Scientists Unveil Room Temperature Superconductor Discovery

A team from South Korea claims to have found a material that is superconducting even at room temperature and normal ambient pressure. That would be a sensation.

A group of South Korean scientists say they have discovered a superconducting material that retains its properties even at room temperature and normal pressure. That’s according to a paper, not yet peer-reviewed, that the research team has published in advance. If other scientists can replicate the findings, it should be a breakthrough for physics.

Scientists Sukbae Lee, Ji-Hoon Kim and Young-Wan Kwon call the material they synthesized “LK-99.” The superconductivity of this modified lead apatite at room temperature has been demonstrated, among other things, by demonstrating the Meisner-Ochsenfeld effect, the authors of the paper write. LK-99 is thus the world’s first superconductor proven at room temperature and normal ambient pressure – and is also comparatively easy to synthesize.

No resistance

Superconductors are materials whose electrical resistance becomes virtually zero at certain temperatures. This includes many metals, but also ceramic materials. To achieve the superconducting state, however, the materials have to be cooled considerably or placed under high pressure. For example, liquid gases such as helium or hydrogen are used.

A superconductor that can be used at room temperature and normal ambient pressure would open up numerous new applications. So far, the generation of strong magnetic fields has been one area of application for superconductors, and they are also used in measurement technology.


A comparatively easy-to-manufacture and temperature-independent superconductor could revolutionize the energy efficiency of various application areas because losses in energy transfer and storage could be reduced to a minimum. Superconductors also offer new prospects for quantum computers or modern means of transportation such as magnetic trains.

Cautious enthusiasm

While the Koreans’ paper has been received with great interest and favor by the scientific community on the Internet, it remains to be seen whether the results can be replicated. Since, according to the paper, the synthesis of LK-99 is supposed to be comparatively simple and can be accomplished in just a few hours, it should not be long before further findings are available.

At the same time, however, skepticism prevails, because in recent years several researchers had already claimed to have found a room-temperature superconductor. Their results have not yet been verified.

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