High-temperature conventional superconductivity
Conventional superconductors are described well by the Bardeen—Cooper—Schrieffer (BCS) theory (1957) and its related theories, all of which importantly put no explicit limit on Tc. While this allows in principle for room temperature superconductivity, no such phenomenon has been observed. Since the discovery of superconductivity in 1911, the measured critical temperature of BCS superconductors has not until recently exceeded 39 K. In 2014, hydrogen sulfide at high pressure was experimentally found to show superconductivity at Tc=200 K, a record high value which greatly exceeds that of the previous class of high-temperature superconductors, the cuprates. The superconductivity mechanism in cuprates is not yet explained. Over the period of 25 years, the critical temperature of cuprates has not been increased above 164 K. The paper reviews research on record-high Tc superconductivity in hydrogen sulphide and other hydrides. Prospects for increasing Tc to room temperature are also discussed.