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Superconductivity and Pressure: A Fruitful Relationship on the Road to Room Temperature Superconductivity

Life and Matter Sciences International Symposium May 21 and 22, 2018 Madrid

General information

Venue: Fundación Ramón Areces, C/ Vitruvio, 5. 28006. Madrid
Limited capacity

  • Simultaneous interpretation will be available
  • Free registration

Organized by:

Fundación Ramón Areces


Miguel Ángel Alario y FrancoUniversidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain

  • Description
  • Programme

There are many solids, metallic or non-metallic, which, when cooled, reach a state so-called superconducting in which the electrical resistance disappears. Superconductivity is an extraordinary phenomenon that offers a multitude of theoretical and experimental possibilities and a good number of applications. Among them we can mention, for example: 

  • Explain the very nature of the phenomenon and predict its existence
  • Discover superconducting materials and improve known ones
  • Apply to many devices ranging from cables, that save up to 10% in the transport of electricity, to systems for detecting extremely small magnetic fields - such as those produced by brain currents - and passing through the celebrated magnetic levitation vehicles or the magnetic resonance images, among many others


The discovery of superconductivity, which 110 aniversary will soon be celebrated, entered Physics to stay and has already given rise to half a dozen Nobel Laureates...! For its part, the use of high pressure was initiated in the study of gases: we can recall the memorable experiment of the Magdeburg hemispheres, the outstanding works of Pascal and the very important Synthesis of Ammonia, with two Nobel Prizes in Chemistry. But also thanks to the pioneering work of Percy Bridgman who got it in Physics, high pressure studies have developed enormously in the mineral terrain, so as to analyze the geology of, in particular, the interior of the Earth and even the remaining planets. But, likewise, in Physics, Chemistry and Materials Science, the use of High Pressure has known a stunning and, at the same time, sustained development. 

Some remarkable milestones in this territory are associated with the development of two important experimental techniques: 

  • For the Materials Synthesis, the Belt Type Press, developed by Tracy Hall in 1953 - and used initially for diamond synthesis- and its various subsequent evolutions
  • In the determination of physical-chemical properties, including structural studies with X-rays and neutrons and various spectroscopies, the diamond anvil press, developed by Alvin Van Valkenburg in 1958

As will be shown in the present symposium, the interaction of high pressures and materials in the field of superconductivity has led, in recent years, to a huge level of progress and a large number of new superconductors with increasingly higher critical temperatures.

In a novel and rather different approach, the work of optical enhancement of Tc by means of mid IR excitation of some particular chemical bonds -a form of localized radiation pressure¡-- has attained transient critical temperatures -in the picoseconds range- even above rom temperature, in the celebrated cuprates. 

Considering, moreover, the increasing development of theoretical calculations and modeling, it can be assumed - yet, not predicted! - that the, often referred to as the "Holy Grail of Physics" (or, rather, of Materials Science) - the preparation of room temperature superconductors is within arm's reach… or almost.

However, whether they would exist likewise at ambient pressure...is another story!

Monday, 21


Welcome and event opening

Raimundo Pérez-Hernández y Torra
Fundación Ramón Areces.

Federico Mayor Zaragoza
Fundación Ramón Areces.

José María Medina
Fundación Ramón Areces


Introduction: Superconductivity & Pressure

Miguel Ángel Alario y Franco


A world of pressure

Valentín García Baonza
Universidad Complutense de Madrid, España.
Instituto de Geociencias (CSIC / UCM).


High Temperature Superconductivity - Questions for Chemistry

J. Paul Attfield
The University of Edinburgh, UK.




Metallic Hydrogen and Superconductivity

Isaac F. Silvera
Lyman Laboratory of Physics, Harvard University, USA.


Chemistry and superconductivity of intercalated metal nitride halides

Amparo Fuertes
Institut de Ciència de Materials de Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC), España.


Probing nanoscale broken-symmetry states in unconventional superconductors using x-ray and neutron total scattering based atomic pair distribution function analysis

Emil S. Bozin
Brookhaven National Laboratory, USA.




Superconducting vortices on the move: a powerful tool to study nanomagnetism: from magnetic superlattices to spin-ices

J. L. Vicent
Universidad Complutense de Madrid. IMDEA-Nanociencia, Madrid, España.


High Temperature Superconducting YBa2Cu3O7-x coated conductors: A reality and yet with emerging breakthroughs

Teresa Puig
Institut de Ciència de Materials de Barcelona, ICMAB-CSIC, España.


Search Faster, Not Smarter:
Using Microwave Spectroscopy to Search for New Superconductors

Iván K. Schuller
University of California, San Diego, USA.


Complex perovskites as potential magnetic switches driven by pressure

Javier Sánchez-Benítez
Universidad Complutense de Madrid, España.


General Discussion

Valenín García Baonza

Tuesday, 22


Heavy Electron-Doped 1111-type Superconductors

Hideo Hosono
Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan.


Electronic correlations in iron superconductors: status, consequences and opportunities

Elena Bascones
Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Madrid (ICMM-CSIC), España.


High pressure synthesis, phase transitions and magnetic properties of rare earth oxides

Regino Sáez-Puche
Universidad Complutense de Madrid, España.


Superconductivity at Earth's temperatures and high pressures

M. I. Eremets
Max-Planck-Institut für Chemie, Mainz, Germany.




Ab Initio Calculations on Superconducting Hydrides: Superconductivity and Optical Properties in H3S and Hydrogen

Ion Errea
Donostia International Physics Center (DIPC), Donostia/San Sebastián, España.


Progress on Hydride, Superhydride and Hydrogen Superconductors

Russell J. Hemley
The George Washington University, Washington, USA.


Non equilibrium spectroscopies for quantum materials: snapping and controlling superconductivity on ultrafast timescales

Claudio Giannetti
ILAMP Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Brescia, Italia.




Putting pressure on light-induced superconductivity in fullerides

Gregor Jotzu
Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter, Hamburg, Germany.


A search for chemistry in the electron-phonon coupling that mediates superconductivity; high-pressure phosphorus as an example

Maarten Goesten
Baker Laboratory Cornell University, Ithaca, USA.


General Disussion

Elena Bascones


 Closing Remarks

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