A new way to manufacture a low-cost superconducting material should lead to cheaper magnetic resonance imaging machines and other energy-efficient applications, say Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists.
Hot isostatic pressing of wires made of magnesium diboride, or MgB2, significantly increased the amount of electrical current the wires can carry without electrical resistance. Wires made from MgB2 would reduce the costs of such products as MRIs and electrical generators, say the researchers: Adriana Serquis, Leonardo Civale, Xiaozhou Liao, J. Yates Coulter, Duncan Hammon, Yuntian Zhu, Dean Peterson and Fred Mueller from Los Alamos Superconductivity Technology Center; and Vitali Nesterenko from the University of California, San Diego. They presented their findings on Dec. 3 at the Materials Research Society meeting in Boston.
"This material will likely serve as a bridge to the energy future in a variety of cost-driven applications, because potentially this is the lowest-cost superconducting material," said Peterson, who leads the Los Alamos Center. "Theres nothing to prevent making this material into wires that are many miles long."
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A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.
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