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35. Superconductor Technologies for Particle Accelerators

Maximum Phase I Award Amount: $200,000

Maximum Phase II Award Amount: $1,100,000

Accepting SBIR Phase I Applications: YES

Accepting STTR Phase I Applications: YES


Superconducting magnets are widely used in particle accelerators for beam steering and focusing. Advanced R&D is needed in support of this research in high-field superconductor and superconducting magnet technologies. This topic addresses only those superconducting magnet development technologies that support accelerators, storage rings, and charged particle beam transport systems and only those superconducting wire technologies that support long strand lengths suitable for winding magnets without splices. For referral to lab and university scientists in your area of interest contact: Ken Marken,


Grant applications are sought only in the following subtopics:


a.      High-Field Superconducting Wire and Cable Technologies for Magnets

Grant applications are sought to develop improved superconducting wire for high field magnets that operate at 16 Tesla (T) field and higher. Proposals should address production scale (> 3 km continuous lengths) wire technologies at 16 to 25 T and demonstration scale (>1 km lengths) wire technologies at 25 to 50 T.  Current densities should be at least 400 amperes per square millimeter of strand cross-section (often called the engineering current density) at the target field of operation and 4.2 K temperature. Tooling and handling requirements restrict wire cross-sectional area to the range 0.4 to 2.0 square millimeters, with transverse dimension not less than 0.25 mm. Vacuum requirements in accelerators and storage rings favor operating temperatures below 20 K, so high-temperature superconducting wire technologies will be evaluated only in this temperature range. Of specific interest are the HTS materials Bi2Sr2CaCu2O8 (Bi-2212) and (RE) Ba2Cu3O7 (ReBCO) that are engineered for high field magnet applications. Also of interest are innovative processing methods and/or starting materials that significantly improve performance and lower the cost of Nb3Sn magnet conductor. All grant applications must result in wire technology that will be acceptable for accelerator magnets, including not only the operating conditions mentioned above, but also production of a sufficient amount of material (1 km minimum continuous length) for winding and testing cables and subscale coils.


New or improved wire technologies must demonstrate at least one of the following criteria in comparison to present art: 

·         property improvement, such as higher current density or higher operating field;

·         improved tolerance to property degradation as a function of applied strain;

·         reduced transverse dimensions of the superconducting filaments (sometimes called the effective filament diameter), in particular to less than 30 micrometers at 1 mm wire diameter, with minimal concurrent reduction of the thermal conductivity of the stabilizer or strand critical current density;

·         innovative geometry for ReBCO materials that leads to lower magnet inductance (cables) and lower losses under changing transverse magnetic fields;

·         significant cost reduction for equal performance in all regards, especially current density and length.


Questions – Contact: Ken Marken,


b.      Superconducting Magnet Technology

Grant applications are sought to develop:

·         very high field (greater than 16 T) HTS/LTS hybrid dipole magnets;

·         designs and prototypes for HTS/LTS hybrid solenoid systems capable of achieving 30 to 40T axial fields and warm bores with a diameter ≥2 cm;

·         liquid-helium-operating electronics for superconducting magnets to enable higher speed and lower noise diagnostic data transfer.


Questions – Contact: Ken Marken,


c.       Persistent Current Mode HTS Magnets

Recent advances in the fabrication of HTS coils have enabled novel designs of superconducting accelerator magnets working in a persistent current mode. The temporal stability of persistent mode provides unique advantages. To energize these short-circuited coils requires a primary coil inductively coupled with the HTS coil. Grant applications are sought to develop persistent current HTS coils with critical current density comparable to driven mode coils and decay times less than 20 ppm/hour.


Questions – Contact: Ken Marken,


d.      Other

In addition to the specific subtopics listed above, the Department invites grant applications in other areas that fall within the scope of the topic description above.


Questions – Contact: Ken Marken,


References: Subtopics a and b:

1.      Larbalestier, D., Jiang, J., Trociewitz, U.P., et al. “Isotropic Round-Wire Multifilament Cuprate Superconductor for Generation of Magnetic Fields Above 30 T.” Nature Materials, vol.13, p. 375, 2014,


2.      Maeda, H., Yanagisawa, Y. “Recent Developments in High-Temperature Superconducting Magnet Technology (Review).” IEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity, vol. 24, no. 3, 4602412, 2014,


3.      Todesco, E., Bottura, L., Rijk, G., et al. “Dipoles for High-Energy LHC”, IEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity, vol. 24, no. 3, 4004306, 2014,


4.      IOP Science. “Advances in Cryogenic Engineering – Materials: Proceedings of the International Cryogenic Materials Conference (ICMC) 2017.” 2017 IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering 279 011001, 2017,


5.      IOP Science. “Advances in Cryogenic Engineering: Proceedings of the Cryogenic Engineering Conference (CEC) 2017.” 2017 IOP Conf. Ser.: Mater. Sci. Eng. 278 011001


6.      Scanlan, R., Malozemoff, A.P., Larbalestier, D.C. “Superconducting Materials for Large Scale Applications.” Proceedings of the IEEE, vol. 92, issue 10, pp. 1639-1654, 2004,


7.      Proceedings of the 2018 Applied Superconductivity Conference. “ASC 2018 Introduction.” IEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity, vol. 29 no. 5, 2018,


8.      The Twenty-fifth International Conference on Magnet Technology. “IEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity.” vol. 28, no. 3, April, 2018,


9.      Ogitsu, T., Devred, A., Kim, K., et al. “Quench Antenna for Superconducting Particle Accelerator Magnets.” IEEE Transactions on Magnetics, vol. 30, 2273, 1994,


10.  Iwasa, Y. “Mechanical Disturbances in Superconducting Magnets-A Review.” IEEE Transactions on Magnetics, vol. 28 113, 1992,


References: Subtopic c:

1.      Kashikhin, V.S., Turrioni, D. “HTS Quadrupole Magnet for the Persistent Current Mode Operation.” IEEE Trans. on Applied Superconductivity, 2020, Vol. 30, Issue 4, 4602104,


2.      J. Kosa, I. Vajda, A. Gyore, “Application Possibilities with Continuous YBCO Loops Made of HTS Wire”, Journal of Physics-Conference Series, 234:(3), Paper 032030,


3.      Schauwecker, R., Herzog, R., Tediosi, R., Alessandrini, M. “Method for Manufacturing a Magnet Coil Configuration Using a Split Band-Shaped Conductor.” US Patent 8712489 B2, April 29, 2014,

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