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

Leti Will Demonstrate First 3D Anti-Crash Solution for Embedding in Drones: Fitted on a Mass-Market Microcontroller, 360Fusion Software Technology Detects any Dynamic Obstacle and Helps Guide Drones Away from Collisions December 15th, 2017

Synthetic protein packages its own genetic material and evolves computationally designed protein assemblies are advancing research in synthetic life and in targeted drug delivery December 15th, 2017

A new product to help combat mouldy walls, thanks to technology developed at the ICN2 December 14th, 2017

Perking up and crimping the 'bristles' of polyelectrolyte brushes December 13th, 2017

Possible Futures

Leti Will Demonstrate First 3D Anti-Crash Solution for Embedding in Drones: Fitted on a Mass-Market Microcontroller, 360Fusion Software Technology Detects any Dynamic Obstacle and Helps Guide Drones Away from Collisions December 15th, 2017

Synthetic protein packages its own genetic material and evolves computationally designed protein assemblies are advancing research in synthetic life and in targeted drug delivery December 15th, 2017

Sandia researchers make solid ground toward better lithium-ion battery interfaces: Reducing the traffic jam in batteries December 13th, 2017

Perking up and crimping the 'bristles' of polyelectrolyte brushes December 13th, 2017

Chip Technology

Columbia engineers create artificial graphene in a nanofabricated semiconductor structure: Researchers are the first to observe the electronic structure of graphene in an engineered semiconductor; finding could lead to progress in advanced optoelectronics and data processing December 13th, 2017

UCLA chemists synthesize narrow ribbons of graphene using only light and heat: Tiny structures could be next-generation solution for smaller electronic devices December 8th, 2017

Device makes power conversion more efficient: New design could dramatically cut energy waste in electric vehicles, data centers, and the power grid December 8th, 2017

Leti Integrates Hybrid III-V Silicon Lasers on 200mm Wafers with Standard CMOS Process December 6th, 2017

Nanotubes/Buckyballs/Fullerenes/Nanorods

Scientists make transparent materials absorb light December 1st, 2017

Researchers advance technique to detect ovarian cancer: Rice, MD Anderson use fluorescent carbon nanotube probes to achieve first in vivo success November 30th, 2017

NanoSummit in Luxembourg: single wall carbon nanotubes have entered our lives as we approach a nanoaugmented future November 23rd, 2017

Fine felted nanotubes : Research team of Kiel University develops new composite material made of carbon nanotubes November 22nd, 2017

Nanoelectronics

Columbia engineers create artificial graphene in a nanofabricated semiconductor structure: Researchers are the first to observe the electronic structure of graphene in an engineered semiconductor; finding could lead to progress in advanced optoelectronics and data processing December 13th, 2017

GLOBALFOUNDRIES, Fudan Team to Deliver Next Generation Dual Interface Smart Card November 14th, 2017

Leti Will Present 11 Papers and Host More-than-Moore Technologies Workshop November 14th, 2017

The next generation of power electronics? Gallium nitride doped with beryllium: How to cut down energy loss in power electronics? The right kind of doping November 9th, 2017

Announcements

Leti Will Demonstrate First 3D Anti-Crash Solution for Embedding in Drones: Fitted on a Mass-Market Microcontroller, 360Fusion Software Technology Detects any Dynamic Obstacle and Helps Guide Drones Away from Collisions December 15th, 2017

Synthetic protein packages its own genetic material and evolves computationally designed protein assemblies are advancing research in synthetic life and in targeted drug delivery December 15th, 2017

A new product to help combat mouldy walls, thanks to technology developed at the ICN2 December 14th, 2017

Perking up and crimping the 'bristles' of polyelectrolyte brushes December 13th, 2017

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

Synthetic protein packages its own genetic material and evolves computationally designed protein assemblies are advancing research in synthetic life and in targeted drug delivery December 15th, 2017

Columbia engineers create artificial graphene in a nanofabricated semiconductor structure: Researchers are the first to observe the electronic structure of graphene in an engineered semiconductor; finding could lead to progress in advanced optoelectronics and data processing December 13th, 2017

Wheat gets boost from purified nanotubes: Rice University toxicity study shows plant growth enhanced by -- but only by -- purified nanotubes December 6th, 2017

Researchers advance technique to detect ovarian cancer: Rice, MD Anderson use fluorescent carbon nanotube probes to achieve first in vivo success November 30th, 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