Both, Type I and Type II superconductors, must be cooled in order to function. The first superconducting material was discovered in 1911 when mercury, a Type I superconductor, was cooled to 4 Kelvin. Over the years, scientists uncovered other materials that could superconduct, but only at slightly higher temperatures. After decades of research, theorists concluded that superconductivity above 30 Kelvin was not possible. But in 1986, a breakthrough occurred when a new class of superconductors was found. High-temperature superconductors. The first high-temperature superconductor worked at slightly above the 30 Kelvin threshold. Then, scientists made a giant leap forward and discovered many Type II conductors that functioned at over 90 Kelvin.