Paul Worm – Pitch battle: new applications of Pd and Rh


Rh-Impregnated Solid Catalysts for Chemical Looping Applications

Since their first discovery in 1911 by Kamerlingh Onnes, superconductors were one of the focal parts of condensed matter research. Superconductors are characterised by their ability to conduct electricity without losses, which also makes them supremely interesting for technological applications. The most straightforward application would be superconducting transmission lines, enabling a sustainable way of transporting energy. Furthermore, superconductors allow for building strong electromagnets, which can be used for medical applications like NMR, or new ways of transport, like magnetically levitating trains. However, while the range of possible applications for superconductors is large, they only see limited use in practice. This is primarily because most materials become superconducting only at extremely low temperatures, e.g. 4 K for mercury. While copper-oxygen compounds (cuprates) have pushed
the boundary up to 130 K, room-temperature superconductivity remains elusive.
Our recent work [1], proposes a new class of superconductors: palladates, inspired by cuprates and nickelates, superconductors based on copper and nickel, respectively. They offer the possibility for a new era of superconductivity and might outperform their related siblings, thus opening the door for many technological advancements using palladium based superconductors.
[1] Moroharu Kitatani, Liang Si, Paul Worm, Jan M. Tomczak, Ryotaro Arita and Karsten Held. Optimizing superconductivity: from cuprates via nickelates to palladates, Phys. Rev. Lett. 130, 166002 (2023)


Paul Worm is a postdoctoral researcher in the group of Karsten Held at the Technical University of Vienna, where he also completed his PhD with distinction in 2023. His research interests are incomputational condensed matter physics, with a special focus on unconventional superconductors. During his three years as a PhD candidate, he contributed to sixteen peer-reviewed articles, mostly on nickel-based superconductors and won the Christiana Hörbiger award. Paul is also a board member of the Austrian Young Physicist’s Tournament (AYPT), which organises a yearly physics competition for high school students and helps them develop a passion for physics.