Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .


Subscribe free to our newsletters via your




















ENERGY TECH
Cornell researchers create first self-assembled superconductor
by Staff Writers
Ithaca NY (SPX) Feb 02, 2016


The Wiesner Group at Cornell University has synthesized the first block copolymer self-assembly-derived nanostructured superconductor. Shown is an example of a bismuth-based superconductor levitating a magnet, with simulated and electron microscope images of the nanostructured material. Image courtesy Cornell University. For a larger version of this image please go here.

Building on nearly two decades' worth of research, a multidisciplinary team at Cornell has blazed a new trail by creating a self-assembled, three-dimensional gyroidal superconductor. Ulrich Wiesner, a materials science and engineering professor who led the group, says it's the first time a superconductor, in this case niobium nitride (NbN), has self-assembled into a porous, 3-D gyroidal structure.

The gyroid is a complex cubic structure based on a surface that divides space into two separate volumes that are interpenetrating and contain various spirals. Pores and the superconducting material have structural dimensions of only around 10 nanometers, which could lead to entirely novel property profiles of superconductors.

Currently, superconductivity for practical uses such as in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners and fusion reactors is only possible at near absolute zero (-459.67 degrees Fahrenheit), although recent experimentation has yielded superconducting at a comparatively balmy -70 degrees C (-94 degrees F).

"There's this effort in research to get superconducting at higher temperatures, so that you don't have to cool anymore," Wiesner said. "That would revolutionize everything. There's a huge impetus to get that."

Wiesner and his co-author Sol Gruner had been dreaming for over two decades about making a gyroidal superconductor in order to explore how this would affect the superconducting properties. The difficulty was in figuring out a way to synthesize the material. The breakthrough was the decision to use NbN as the superconductor.

Superconductivity, in which electrons flow without resistance and the resultant energy-sapping heat, is still an expensive proposition. MRIs use superconducting magnets, but the magnets constantly have to be cooled, usually with a combination of liquid helium and nitrogen.

Wiesner's group started by using organic block copolymers to structure direct sol-gel niobium oxide (Nb2O5) into three-dimensional alternating gyroid networks by solvent evaporation-induced self-assembly. Simply put, the group built two intertwined gyroidal network structures, then removed one of them by heating in air at 450 degrees.

The team's discovery featured a bit of "serendipity," Wiesner said. In the first attempt to achieve superconductivity, the niobium oxide (under flowing ammonia for conversion to the nitride) was heated to a temperature of 700 degrees. After cooling the material to room temperature, it was determined that superconductivity had not been achieved. The same material was then heated to 850 degrees, cooled and tested, and superconductivity had been achieved.

"We tried going directly to 850, and that didn't work," Wiesner said. "So we had to heat it to 700, cool it and then heat it to 850 and then it worked. Only then."

Wiesner said the group is unable to explain why the heating, cooling and reheating works, but "it's something we're continuing to research," he added.

Limited previous study on mesostructured superconductors was due, in part, to a lack of suitable material for testing. The work by Wiesner's team is a first step toward more research in this area.

"We are saying to the superconducting community, 'Hey, look guys, these organic block copolymer materials can help you generate completely new superconducting structures and composite materials, which may have completely novel properties and transition temperatures. This is worth looking into,'" Wiesner said.

The group's findings are detailed in a paper published in Science Advances, Jan. 29.

.


Related Links
Cornell University
Powering The World in the 21st Century at Energy-Daily.com






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
ENERGY TECH
Heavy fermions get nuclear boost on way to superconductivity
Houston TX (SPX) Jan 29, 2016
In a surprising find, physicists from the United States, Germany and China have discovered that nuclear effects help bring about superconductivity in ytterbium dirhodium disilicide (YRS), one of the most-studied materials in a class of quantum critical compounds known as "heavy fermions." The discovery, which is described in this week's issue of Science, marks the first time that supercond ... read more


ENERGY TECH
Russia postpones manned Lunar mission to 2035

Audi joins Google Lunar XPrize competition

Lunar mission moves a step closer

Momentum builds for creation of 'moon villages'

ENERGY TECH
Mars Rover Opportunity Busy Through Depth of Winter

India to Cooperate With France on Next Mission to Mars

Opportunity rock abrasion tool conducts two rock grinds

Curiosity gets a good taste of scooped, sieved sand

ENERGY TECH
Voyager Mission Celebrates 30 Years Since Uranus

Arab nations eye China, domestic market to revive tourism

2016 Goals Vital to Commercial Crew Success

Space: The here-and-now frontier

ENERGY TECH
China aims for the Moon with new rockets

China shoots for first landing on far side of the moon

Chinese Long March 3B to launch Belintersat-1 telco sat for Belarus

China Plans More Than 20 Space Launches in 2016

ENERGY TECH
Russian Cosmonauts to Attach Thermal Insulation to ISS

Astronaut Scott Kelly plays ping pong with water

Japanese astronaut learned Russian to link two nations

NASA, Texas Instruments Launch mISSion imaginaTIon

ENERGY TECH
70th consecutive successful launch for Ariane 5

AMOS-6 Scheduled for May 2016 Launch by Space-X

Arianespace's year-opening Ariane 5 mission is approved for launch

SpaceX Falcon 9 upgrade certified for National Security Space launches

ENERGY TECH
Astronomers discover largest solar system

Lonely Planet Finds a Mum a Trillion Km Away

Follow A Live Planet Hunt

Lab discovery gives glimpse of conditions found on other planets

ENERGY TECH
Energy harvesting via smart materials

A new quantum approach to big data

Novel 4-D printing method blossoms from botanical inspiration

Apple quietly working on virtual reality: report




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News








The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2016 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.