Published on December 13, 2013
and its use as a superconductor: production and application
•YBCO is a 2G high-temperature superconductor •It is characterized as a ceramic oxide and crystallizes in the perovskite structure
Superconductivity is a phenomenon of exactly zero electrical resistance and expulsion of magnetic fields occurring in certain materials when cooled below a characteristic critical temperature.” High-temperature (93K) Type 2 “
The BCS theory electrons move as pairs through the lattice due to a combination of the excited state pairing and low thermal energy of the crystal lattice, the electrons contain sufficient energy to “gap” the energy barrier of the lattice and experience no resistance
Bulk YBCO cannot be made into wires the way that copper is Instead, superconducting wires are made by depositing thin films of YBCO onto textured substrates
YBCO wires contain only a thin layer (300800nm) of YBCO The other components are a textured metal substrate, an oxide buffer layer, and another metal seal
The amount of current a wire of given size can carry J = I/A; where J is current density, I is current, A is area Conventional units for current density of wires is A/cm-width
Length Shorter than 20cm (short) Longer than 20cm (long) RABiTS 270 IBAD 423 270 233 *All units are in A/cm-width*
After the preparation of the textured substrate, the YBCO must be deposited The two most common techniques are: 1. 2. metalorganic deposition (MOD) high-rate pulse laser deposition (HRPLD)
Solution-based deposition, employing chemical reactions to bind the film to the surface
High-powered laser ablates source material Plume of atoms are deposited onto target Issue with small deposition area
MOD Large scale deposition Very uniform quality over long wires Complex deposition process Acceptable but not incredible current densities HR-PLD Very high current density over both long and short wires Simplified process High energy required Not as efficient at large-scale deposition
Underground transmission cables Oil-free transformers Magnetic energy storage units High-efficiency motors Compact generators
Meissner Effect Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMI) Future use: levitating force in maglev trains
Goal: replace copper wire as the industry standard for high current transfer Price performance: balances cost against current density Currently, copper wire has a price performance ranging from $30-60kA/m For YBCO to economically replace copper, it would require a price performance of $10kA/m
Currently, YBCO wire ranges from $15-30kA/m but because of the cooling and containment requirements, it is still more expensive than copper As deposition efficiency increases, cost decreases Price trends indicate a steady drop over time
Large overhead costs Production speed vs. performance? Testing & research Metal fluoroacetate Yttrium oxide Copper oxide ~$4000/kg $60-90/kg $12-15/kg Liquid nitrogen $0.06/L
As a consumer, bulk YBCO is available for purchase as part of magnetic levitation kits A 22mm diameter YBCO disc costs around $70 A 100nm thin film deposited onto LaAlO3 costs $300 Price depends heavily on how much the material was processed
YBCO is a material that has yet to completely reach its potential as the conducting wire of tomorrow As deposition techniques improve, and it becomes continually less expensive to produce, YBCO will be used more and more in applications around the world
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