Niobium and High-entropy alloys (HEAs)

An alloy of tantalum, niobium, hafnium, zirconium and titanium has been shown to conduct electricity with zero resistance, or superconduct, from ambient pressure up to pressures similar to those that exist near the centre of the Earth.

The material is a member of a new family of metal alloys known as high-entropy alloys (HEAs), which are composed of random atomic-scale mixtures of elements from the block of “transition metals” on the periodic table. 

HEAs have simple crystal structures, but the metals are arranged randomly on the lattice points, giving each alloy the properties of both a glass and a crystalline material.

The HEA studied in this work is unique in that it can superconduct continuously from low to high pressures. This discovery was made by a group of scientists from the Institute of Physics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chemistry Department at Princeton University. 

Further information is available here.

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