Made of a combination of conventional “low-temperature” and novel “high-temperature” superconductors, this is the strongest all-superconducting magnet in the world.
For decades, the world record for a superconducting magnet inched forward incrementally. But this giant leap to a 32 telsa superconducting magnet is bigger than all the improvements made over the past 40 years combined and represents a milestone in high-temperature superconductivity, a phenomenon first discovered in the 1980s.
Begun in 2009, the 32 tesla magnet represents a breakthrough in superconducting magnet technology, combining low-temperature superconductors commonly used in today’s superconducting magnets - niobium tin and niobium titanium -- with “YBCO,” a superconducting ceramic composed of yttrium, barium, copper and oxygen. The 32 tesla is the first high-field magnet available to researchers to incorporate YBCO, a finicky material a few commercial companies have been developing for years in collaboration with MagLab engineers and scientists.
The magnet is built with all-superconducting materials, and leverages two different types of superconductors to achieve its whopping field: a commercial low-temperature component from Oxford Instruments and two high-temperature coils that look like pancakes. At the center of those pancake coils are miles of flat wire YBCO (yttrium, barium, copper and oxygen) created by SuperPower Inc. in partnership with MagLab researchers. Scientists and engineers worked for years to develop the tricky material, which is electrically and mechanically completely different than its low-temperature counterparts. New techniques had to be developed for insulating, reinforcing and de-energizing the system.
Now, the 32 T system is providing researchers with a very stable, homogenous field suitable for sensitive experiments in nuclear magnetic resonance, electron magnetic resonance, molecular solids, quantum oscillation studies of complex metals, fractional quantum Hall effect and other areas.
In 2022, engineers and technicians from the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory were recognized with an R&D 100 Award for the design and construction of the 32 T. The R&D 100 recognizes revolutionary ideas in science and technology.
YBCO (2 coils), Niobium-Tin (3 coils), and Niobium-Titanium (2 coils)
|Bore size||34 mm|
|Online since||December 2017|
|Miles of Superconductor||6 miles formed into 112 disc-shaped “pancakes”|
-268.95 degrees Celsius
Last modified on 21 March 2023