Ion Errea, Associated Professor at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) and at the Fisika Aplikatua saila, Gipuzkoako Ingeniaritza Eskola, and Centro de Física de Materiales (CSIC-UPV/EHU), visited the Material Science Institute of Madrid (ICMM-CSIC) on February, 5th. The researcher gave the conference entitled 'Ambient conditions superconductivity: dream or reality?' and met some of the scientist groups at ICMM.

During his visit, the researcher was welcomed by Jesús Ricote, Deputy Director, who presented him with the ICMM-CSIC researcher lines. Then, and after a meet and greet coffee, Errea gave the seminar 'Ambient conditions superconductivity: dream or reality?', part of the 'Lectures in Material Sciences' seminar series, in which experts in Material Sciences come to the ICMM to explain key aspects of the latest findings in the field, so both young and senior researchers can approach to different aspects of a very wide discipline.

In this occasion, Ion Errea remembered that, since its discovery in 1911, reaching ambient conditions superconductivity is one of the biggest scientific challenges. Besides, in 2023 something happened: two different research groups claimed to have finally found it, first, in a nitrogen-doped lutetium hydride and, second, in a copper doped lead apatite, creating at the same time big expectations and skepticism in the community that transcended to the whole society.

"The paper on lutetium hydride has been recently retracted and a big effort from the community has clarified that the anomalous properties in the lead apatite are not coming from a superconducting state", he said. Are all expectations gone? In this lecture he discussed that, while the prospects on unconventional superconductors are unclear due to the incapacity to perform ab initio predictions of their Tc, hydrogen-based materials offer a viable route for new discoveries. He also reviewed the latest results in the field and why there are reasons to be optimistic.

Once he and some colleagues had lunch, the researcher had the opportunity to meet some of our research groups focused in superconductivity area, so they could discuss their points of view and search for new possible collaborations. Errea met María José Calderón, another theorist researcher with a wide expertise in superconductivity area, and Miguel Muñoz, part of the 2D Foundry group.