Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


New advance towards superconductor wires


Researchers at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, the Materials Science Institute of Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC), and various German and North American institutions have developed a simple method for measuring the maximum current that coated superconductors can carry. The material will, most likely, be used to manufacture the superconductor wires of the future. The research has been published in the journal, Applied Physics Letters.

Electric currents pass through superconductor materials without resistance, which is a property with many technological applications, but this is only possible when the materials are cooled below a certain temperature and when the current does not exceed a certain value.

The superconductor materials that will, most likely, be used for wires that transport electric energy are called coated conductors. They are formed by the deposition of a film of high-temperature superconductor material on a metallic band. The main advantage with respect to other types of superconductors is that they allow large quantities of electric current to move through them without the need for excessive cooling, yet they keep their superconductor qualities. This makes possible, among other things, the generating of highly intense magnetic fields with lighter superconductors and the transmission of electric current with minimum losses.

The principal limitation of these new generation materials is, however, that their microscopic structure is in the form of small grains, which limits movement through them and makes it more difficult, in each case, to know what the maximum current is that the material can carry and still maintain its characteristics of superconductivity. This information is indispensable for engineers who work on practical applications.

A team of scientists at the Materials Science Institute of Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC) and of the Physics Department at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, working with the Reference Centre for Advanced Materials for Energy (CeRMAE) of the Generalitat de Catalunya, together with researchers from the Zentrum fur Funktion Wekstoffe in Göttingen (Germany), the IFW in Dresden (Germany) and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (United States), have developed a simple method for measuring the maximum current (called critical current) that coated superconductors can carry. The difference from other methods is that the new technique is non-invasive, i.e., it is not necessary to enter into contact with the material to measure its critical current.

The method developed by the team of researchers is based on measuring the response of the coated superconductor to the application of magnetic fields. The material undergoes a magnetic field with cyclical variations so that different maximum values are obtained; the method makes it possible to measure its critical current. Therefore, the new technique will allow engineers to calculate, in a simple way, the maximum intensity of electric current that a superconductor wire can carry without superconductivity being lost. Furthermore, the results obtained will make it possible to analyse how to improve the granular structure of the superconductor material so as to increase the current that can move through it, thereby obtaining the values required in applications such as superconductor wires for the transmission of electricity, new motors, more efficient and lighter generators, magnetically levitated trains or magnetic resonance image-generating apparatus for the human body for hospitals.

The research, led by the investigators Xavier Obradors and Teresa Puig (ICMAB-CSIC) and Àlvar Sánchez (UAB), has been published in the weekly journal, Applied Physics Letters.

Octavi López Coronado | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Researchers demonstrate existence of new form of electronic matter
15.03.2018 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

nachricht Boron can form a purely honeycomb, graphene-like 2-D structure
15.03.2018 | Science China Press

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

Im Focus: Radar for navigation support from autonomous flying drones

At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.

Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

International Virtual Reality Conference “IEEE VR 2018” comes to Reutlingen, Germany

08.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Wandering greenhouse gas

16.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

'Frequency combs' ID chemicals within the mid-infrared spectral region

16.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'

16.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>