Magnesium Diboride (MgB2) could be the superconductor tech of the future. Not only is it non-toxic, lightweight and affordable, it can also achieve superconductivity at a moderate temperature using relatively inexpensive coolants. MgB2 could also replace conventional low-temperature superconductors that require expensive liquid helium for cooling, as well as rare earth-neodymium magnets.
The potential applications for MgB2 are vast, including the manufacture of coils and magnets for MRI, NMR, magnetic drug delivery, fault current limiters, electric motors, and transportation. However, researchers have found that MgB2 suffers from weak magnetic flux pinning, which can reduce its efficacy in practical applications.
To tackle this issue, researchers led by Prof. Muralidhar Miryala from Shibaura Institute of Technology in Japan have explored an alternative method of producing smaller B particles, which can be used to fabricate nano-sized MgB2 grains with strong grain boundary pinning, increasing its critical current density (Jc) and trapped magnetic field (TF).
Currently, B nanoparticles are produced using techniques such as ball milling, pyrolysis, and sintering, which can be cost-ineffective with low purity output. The team at Shibaura Institute of Technology explored high-energy ultra-sonication as a cost-effective alternative to produce oxide-free nm-sized B particles.
Using 2-propanol as the solvent for B, the researchers ultrasonically refined commercial B powder, producing oxide-free nm-sized B particles. These particles were then used to fabricate bulk MgB2, which showed superconductivity at around 38.5 K and high Jc values of 500 and 380 kA cm-2 at 10 K and 20 K, respectively.
These findings are significant, as they could bring MgB2 superconducting magnets a step closer to commercialization. With a sustainable and low-cost technique for developing high-performance MgB2 superconductors, the potential for MgB2 super magnets is unlimited.
– Superconductivity is the complete lack of electrical resistance in a material. Different materials exhibit superconductivity at different temperatures, with some requiring very low temperatures.
– Rare earth magnets, made from neodymium, are currently used in many applications, including wind turbines, electric vehicles, and computer hard drives.
– According to research, MgB2 could be an ideal candidate for polycrystalline superconducting magnets, as it exhibits good critical current density (Jc) and a high trapped magnetic field (TF).
MgB2 superconducting magnets could revolutionize many industries thanks to its sustainability, low cost, and excellent performance. The recent work by researchers at Shibaura Institute of Technology provides a cost-effective method for developing MgB2 superconductors, bringing us one step closer to unlocking their potential.
Magnesium Diboride Super Magnets could be the sustainable, low-cost superconductor tech that many industries have been searching for. Its potential applications are vast, and the recent work at Shibaura Institute of Technology provides a promising method for developing high-performance MgB2 superconductors. If commercialized, MgB2 super magnets could be a game-changer for many industries looking to decrease their reliance on rare earth elements and expensive cooling methods.