Nanodots and nanocolumns used to improve superconductors

Nanodots are being used to successfully pin the magnetic field in superconducting wire. This allows for more stable current flow and better retention of performance over longer wire. The performance necessary for many applications appears possible using this technique There are still many hurdles but this appears to be a path to success.

The performance of the new wires is so good, in fact, that for the first time it surpasses the requirements for a wide range of electrical applications, including motors, high-field magnets, and power cables. So far, the wires are only 1.5 centimeters long. Two Japanese companies, however, are working on making long YBCO wires using PLD, while companies in the United States are racing to commercialize cheaper synthetic approaches in hopes of being the first to toe the latest line in the sand.

The team now hopes to achieve similar nanoscale defects in thicker films and so obtain even better performance.