Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Race for New Superconductors Shrinks to Nanoscale

Wires made up of yarns spun from millions of carbon nanotube bundles may help make superconductivity practical. The nanofibers making up the wire are each thousands of times smaller than a human hair.
Wires made up of yarns spun from millions of carbon nanotube bundles may help make superconductivity practical. The nanofibers making up the wire are each thousands of times smaller than a human hair.

Abstract:
Highly Engineered Materials May Solve One of Science's Toughest Problems

Race for New Superconductors Shrinks to Nanoscale

Dallas, TX | Posted on October 8th, 2009

A team of researchers from UT Dallas, Clemson University and Yale University are using science on the nanoscale to address one of the most elusive challenges in physics—the discovery of room temperature superconductivity. With that as the ultimate goal, the team is working to develop superconducting wires made from nanotubes that carry high currents at the temperature of liquid nitrogen, or higher.

With a $3 million research grant from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), the team has embarked on a five-year project to invent new superconducting wires based on highly engineered nanomaterials, each component thousands of times smaller than a human hair. Such wires would be used for applications ranging from magnets for Magnetic Resonance Imaging to replacing energy-wasting copper in power transmission lines.

While traditional copper wires are highly conductive, they lose power through resistance, which translates into wasted energy. Superconductive materials transmit power without resistance, but they have to be cooled to low temperatures.

"The year 2011 marks 100 years since superconductivity was discovered," said Dr. Anvar Zakhidov, one of the researchers on the project and an associate director of the Alan G. MacDiarmid NanoTech Institute. "Still, the problem of finding a room temperature superconductor has not been solved, and present high temperature superconductors become non-superconducting when currents are moderate. Also, modern high temperature superconducting materials are too brittle, expensive and deficient in electronic properties for wide-scale application. We hope to overcome those limitations by fabricating wires from nanotubes, using carbon nanotubes or other nanotubes enhanced by atoms like boron, nitrogen or sulfur."

According to Zakhidov, who is a professor of physics, as much as 30 percent of electrical energy can be lost as heat when electricity travels through power lines. Superconducting materials promise enormous environmental and energy savings.

Under the leadership of Zakhidov and Dr. Ray Baughman, director of the NanoTech Institute, the team at the institute has already pioneered methods to assemble nanomaterials into yarns.

"Making superconducting wires and cables from nanofibers and nanoparticles presents special challenges that go beyond the discovery of new superconductors," Baughman said. "For example, for each pound of superconducting wire, it may be necessary to assemble more than 3 billion miles of individual nanotubes—and the goal is to achieve this assembly at commercially useful rates. For this task, we are inventing radically new methods for making superconducting wires."

Dr. Lisa Pfefferle, professor of chemical engineering at Yale University and member of the research team, is experimenting with new types of nanofibers that have been synthesized by her team using elements like boron.

Team member Dr. Apparao Rao, professor of physics at Clemson University, has already produced superconducting nanotubes by a process called pulsed laser ablation. The process results in carbon nanotubes "doped" with boron that superconduct at higher temperatures than other carbon based materials—but still at relatively low temperatures.

Dr. Myron Salamon, dean of the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, will evaluate the team's new superconductors to test the maximum temperature of superconductivity as a function of current and power transmitted, which is a crucial factor for using these materials in power systems.

"There's always been a sense that we can enhance superconductivity by using lighter materials," Salamon said. "Wires made from ultra-light nanotubes can allow atoms to vibrate easily, which helps with superconductivity. There's good evidence that carbon-based materials, like dopant modified carbon nanotubes, might make good superconductors."

Five research grants were awarded to spur development of practical high temperature superconductors. The grants are administered through the AFOSR by Project Manager Dr. Harold Weinstock, who has helped pioneer and support many other important discoveries in physics. According to Zakhidov, other universities in the collaborative superconductor race include the University of Houston, the University of Maryland, the University of California, San Diego and Stanford University.

####

About UT Dallas
The University of Texas at Dallas (also referred to as UT Dallas or UTD) is a public research university in the University of Texas System. The UTD main campus is located in Richardson, Texas, a suburb of Dallas, Texas, United States. A satellite location of UT Dallas is located adjacent to the UT Southwestern campus in central Dallas.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Media contacts

Brandon V. Webb
UT Dallas
(972) 883-2155


or the Office of Media Relations
UT Dallas
(972) 883-2155

Copyright © UT Dallas

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

New nano approach could cut dose of leading HIV treatment in half February 24th, 2017

Atom-scale oxidation mechanism of nanoparticles helps develop anti-corrosion materials February 24th, 2017

Atomic force imaging used to study nematodes: KFU bionanotechnology lab (head - Dr. Rawil Fakhrullin) has obtained 3-D images of nematodes' cuticles February 23rd, 2017

Particle Works creates range of high performance quantum dots February 23rd, 2017

Possible Futures

New nano approach could cut dose of leading HIV treatment in half February 24th, 2017

Atom-scale oxidation mechanism of nanoparticles helps develop anti-corrosion materials February 24th, 2017

EmTech Asia breaks new barriers with potential applications of space exploration with NASA and MIT February 22nd, 2017

Tiny nanoclusters could solve big problems for lithium-ion batteries February 21st, 2017

Chip Technology

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Announces Availability of 45nm RF SOI to Advance 5G Mobile Communications: Optimized RF features deliver high-performance solutions for mmWave beam forming applications in 5G smartphones and base stations February 22nd, 2017

Strem Chemicals and Dotz Nano Ltd. Sign Distribution Agreement for Graphene Quantum Dots Collaboration February 21st, 2017

Particles from outer space are wreaking low-grade havoc on personal electronics February 19th, 2017

Liquid metal nano printing set to revolutionize electronics: Creating integrated circuits just atoms thick February 18th, 2017

Nanotubes/Buckyballs/Fullerenes

Boron atoms stretch out, gain new powers: Rice University simulations demonstrate 1-D material's stiffness, electrical versatility January 26th, 2017

New stem cell technique shows promise for bone repair January 25th, 2017

Captured on video: DNA nanotubes build a bridge between 2 molecular posts: Research may lead to new lines of direct communication with cells January 9th, 2017

Nano-chimneys can cool circuits: Rice University scientists calculate tweaks to graphene would form phonon-friendly cones January 4th, 2017

Nanoelectronics

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Announces Availability of 45nm RF SOI to Advance 5G Mobile Communications: Optimized RF features deliver high-performance solutions for mmWave beam forming applications in 5G smartphones and base stations February 22nd, 2017

Particles from outer space are wreaking low-grade havoc on personal electronics February 19th, 2017

Liquid metal nano printing set to revolutionize electronics: Creating integrated circuits just atoms thick February 18th, 2017

1,000 times more efficient nano-LED opens door to faster microchips February 5th, 2017

Announcements

New nano approach could cut dose of leading HIV treatment in half February 24th, 2017

Atom-scale oxidation mechanism of nanoparticles helps develop anti-corrosion materials February 24th, 2017

Atomic force imaging used to study nematodes: KFU bionanotechnology lab (head - Dr. Rawil Fakhrullin) has obtained 3-D images of nematodes' cuticles February 23rd, 2017

Particle Works creates range of high performance quantum dots February 23rd, 2017

Grants/Sponsored Research/Awards/Scholarships/Gifts/Contests/Honors/Records

Oxford Instruments announces Dr Brad Ramshaw of Cornell University, as winner of the 2017 Lee Osheroff Richardson Science Prize February 20th, 2017

Nominations Invited for $250,000 Kabiller Prize in Nanoscience: Major international prize recognizes a visionary nanotechnology researcher February 20th, 2017

'Lossless' metamaterial could boost efficiency of lasers and other light-based devices February 20th, 2017

Good vibrations help reveal molecular details: Rice University scientists combine disciplines to pinpoint small structures in unlabeled molecules February 15th, 2017

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project