A New Nb3Sn Process with a Novel Artificial Pinning Center for High Energy Physics and High Magnetic Field Applications
Department of Energy
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214 Canal Street, Plantsville, CT, 06479-1742
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AbstractThe development of an APC Nb3Sn superconductor with tin-pin artificial pinning centers by the proposed approach in the Phase II program, is anticipated to have a significant impact on cost and performance in applications for undulator magnets. The overall technical approach for the Phase II project will be to continue optimization of an Nb3Sn superconductor with advanced properties for HEP magnets. In the Phase I work, we fabricated powder-in-tube monocore wire samples with containing thousands of tin-pin cores. The 1 to 2 micron size tin cores allowed lower heat treatment temperature to produce less than 50 nanometer size Nb3Sn grains. Detailed SEM and EDS analysis and Magnetization measurements was performed to characterize the superconducting properties. The Phase I work successfully demonstrated the feasibility of fabricating several thousand tin cores in a monowire. While HEP magnets are important for future LHC upgrads, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) magnets have the nearest term commercial potential. The current NMR market includes spectrometers up to operating frequencies of 800 MHz. Any additional improvements in Nb3Sn superconductors which are included in the inner sections of the NMR magnets could impact the cost of these high end spectrometers. The total NMR market is on the order of a quarter to a half billion dollars and growing. Such systems require magnets generating fields up to 18T range. NMR spectroscopy is a non- destructive technique for mapping molecular structures and learning how molecules function and relate to each other. This is important for many applications that have benefits to the public including discovering new drugs, evaluating new synthetic materials, and exploring the realm of the proteomics. Another major market for the product will MRI magnets. With the rising cost of health care, any new innovation to reduce cost would be very welcomed.
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