Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New advance towards superconductor wires

22.03.2004


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:
http://www.uab.es/uabdivulga/eng

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells
11.12.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

nachricht Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires
07.12.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht - Zentrum für Material- und Küstenforschung

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests

14.12.2017 | Health and Medicine

New type of smart windows use liquid to switch from clear to reflective

14.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

BigH1 -- The key histone for male fertility

14.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>