High-performance MgB2 superconducting wires for use under liquid-helium-free conditions fabricated using an internal Mg diffusion process

Shujun Ye, Minghui Song, Akiyoshi Matsumoto, Kazumasa Togano, Masaki Takeguchi, Takahito Ohmura, Hiroaki Kumakura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

MgB2 has a superconducting transition temperature (T c) of 39 K, which is much higher than that for practical metallic superconductors. Thus, it is hoped that MgB2 can not only replace metallic superconductors, but can be used under liquid-helium-free conditions, for example, at temperatures of 10-20 K that can easily be achieved using cryocooling systems. However, to date, the reported critical current density (Jc) for MgB2 wires is not high enough for large-scale applications in liquid-helium-free conditions. In the present study, successful fabrication of high-performance MgB2 superconducting wires was carried out using an internal Mg diffusion (IMD) process, involving a p-dimethylbenzene (C8H10) pre-treatment of carbon-coated B powder with nanometer-sized particles. The resulting wires exhibited the highest ever Jc of 1.2 × 105 A cm-2 at 4.2 K and 10 T, and an engineering critical current density (Je) of about 1 × 104 A cm-2. Not only in 4.2 K, but also in 10 K, the Jc values for the wires fabricated in the present study are in fact higher than that for Nb-Ti wires at 4.2 K for the magnetic fields at which the measurements were carried out. At 20 K and 5 T, the Jc and Je were about 7.6 × 105 A cm-2 and 5.3 × 103 A cm-2, respectively, which are the highest values reported for MgB2 wires to date. The results of a detailed microstructural analysis suggested that the main reason for the superior electrical performance was the high density of the MgB2 layer rather than just the small grain size, and that the critical current could be further increased by suitable control of the microstructure. These high-performance IMD-processed MgB2 wires are thus promising superconductors for applications such as magnetic resonance imaging and maglev trains that can operate under liquid-helium-free conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number125003
JournalSuperconductor Science and Technology
Volume26
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Dec
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry

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