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Title: Magnesium diboride : better late than never.

Abstract

The heyday of research into the basic properties of intermetallic superconductors took place between 1950 and 1980. During those years, the number of known superconducting intermetallic compounds (consisting of several metallic and metalloid elements) grew explosively, and superconducting transition temperatures T{sub c} were pushed to just over 23 K (Nb{sub 3}Ge). (In comparison, the first superconductor, discovered by Heike Kamerlingh Onnes in 1911, was mercury, with T{sub c} = 4.15 K). Research groups all over the world searched for higher and higher T{sub c} values. The researchers were motivated by a basic desire to find an intrinsic limiting temperature for this intriguing quantum phase and by a very applied interest in making useful superconducting devices. The January 2001 discovery that magnesium diboride becomes superconducting at about 40 K produced an explosion of enthusiasm and excitement. Although 40 K is indeed much cooler than 160 K, it represents a near doubling of the previous record intermetallic T{sub c} and means that MgB{sub 2} can be cooled to an operational temperature by either liquid nitrogen or readily available, fairly inexpensive, closed-cycle refrigerators. In addition, MgB{sub 2} is a simple compound of two abundant, inexpensive elements. The long sought-after, high-temperature, intermetallic superconductor hadmore » finally made its appearance -- better late than never. Although the initial interest in MgB{sub 2} arose solely from its high T{sub c}, futher work revealed that MgB{sub 2} breaks new ground for superconductivity based on the well-known electron-phonon interaction. The material displays a plethora of remarkable features. MgB{sub 2} not only has important technological potential, but also will have a lasting impact on how the research community looks at and looks for superconductors.« less

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
961252
Report Number(s):
ANL/MSD/JA-45778
Journal ID: ISSN 0031-9228; PHTOAD; TRN: US201011%%525
DOE Contract Number:  
DE-AC02-06CH11357
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Physics Today
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 56; Journal Issue: 3 ; Mar. 2003; Journal ID: ISSN 0031-9228
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
ENGLISH
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY; HIGH-TC SUPERCONDUCTORS; INTERMETALLIC COMPOUNDS; MAGNESIUM; MAGNESIUM BORIDES; SEMIMETALS; SUPERCONDUCTIVITY; SUPERCONDUCTORS; TRANSITION TEMPERATURE

Citation Formats

Canfield, P C, Crabtree, G W, Materials Science Division, Ames Lab., and Iowa State Univ. Magnesium diboride : better late than never.. United States: N. p., 2003. Web. doi:10.1063/1.1570770.
Canfield, P C, Crabtree, G W, Materials Science Division, Ames Lab., & Iowa State Univ. Magnesium diboride : better late than never.. United States. doi:10.1063/1.1570770.
Canfield, P C, Crabtree, G W, Materials Science Division, Ames Lab., and Iowa State Univ. Sat . "Magnesium diboride : better late than never.". United States. doi:10.1063/1.1570770.
@article{osti_961252,
title = {Magnesium diboride : better late than never.},
author = {Canfield, P C and Crabtree, G W and Materials Science Division and Ames Lab. and Iowa State Univ.},
abstractNote = {The heyday of research into the basic properties of intermetallic superconductors took place between 1950 and 1980. During those years, the number of known superconducting intermetallic compounds (consisting of several metallic and metalloid elements) grew explosively, and superconducting transition temperatures T{sub c} were pushed to just over 23 K (Nb{sub 3}Ge). (In comparison, the first superconductor, discovered by Heike Kamerlingh Onnes in 1911, was mercury, with T{sub c} = 4.15 K). Research groups all over the world searched for higher and higher T{sub c} values. The researchers were motivated by a basic desire to find an intrinsic limiting temperature for this intriguing quantum phase and by a very applied interest in making useful superconducting devices. The January 2001 discovery that magnesium diboride becomes superconducting at about 40 K produced an explosion of enthusiasm and excitement. Although 40 K is indeed much cooler than 160 K, it represents a near doubling of the previous record intermetallic T{sub c} and means that MgB{sub 2} can be cooled to an operational temperature by either liquid nitrogen or readily available, fairly inexpensive, closed-cycle refrigerators. In addition, MgB{sub 2} is a simple compound of two abundant, inexpensive elements. The long sought-after, high-temperature, intermetallic superconductor had finally made its appearance -- better late than never. Although the initial interest in MgB{sub 2} arose solely from its high T{sub c}, futher work revealed that MgB{sub 2} breaks new ground for superconductivity based on the well-known electron-phonon interaction. The material displays a plethora of remarkable features. MgB{sub 2} not only has important technological potential, but also will have a lasting impact on how the research community looks at and looks for superconductors.},
doi = {10.1063/1.1570770},
journal = {Physics Today},
issn = {0031-9228},
number = 3 ; Mar. 2003,
volume = 56,
place = {United States},
year = {2003},
month = {3}
}