What is the finding?
Nb3Sn coated superconducting radiofrequency (SRF) cavities could potentially operate in the 4–8K temperature range reached by compact refrigerators, enabling small and even portable x-ray, and intense electron beam sources. Present Nb3Sn cavity coating requires high temperatures, ~1200°C, eliminating the potential benefits of combining with a Cu cavity body.
Researchers at ASC-National MagLab developed a new ~700°C "hot bronze" Nb3Sn coating recipe, scalable to cavity production, that can produce high quality Nb3Sn films on bronze substrates.
THE TOOLS THEY USED
This research was conducted in the JEOL-ARM TEM/STEM facility at the MagLab's Applied Superconductivity Center
Why is this important?
This new recipe can be scaled to produce Nb3Sn surfaces inside copper shells to produce next-generation superconducting radio frequency (SRF) cavities. Such cavities will be able to operate at higher temperatures than the current state-of-the-art bulk niobium cavities, reducing capital and operational costs significantly, and paving the way to next generation of particle accelerators. Furthermore, the ability to operate at higher temperature – without the large and costly infrastructure required by superfluid helium – will enable future applications requiring compact, portable accelerators for industrial, medical, science, and environmental applications.
Who did the research?
Wenura Withanage1, Andre Juliao1,2, and Lance D. Cooley1,2
1Applied Superconductivity Center - National MagLab; 2Florida State University;
Why did this research need the MagLab?
The MagLab's Applied Superconductivity Center has long been a pioneer in advancing the synthesis and characterization of Nb3Sn superconducting wires. This expertise was used to address challenges faced by SRF cavities. The experiments required the use of new thin-film deposition equipment at the MagLab that is tailored for the study of Nb and Nb3Sn. The images in the Figure were taken using the state-of-the-art high-resolution electron microscopy facility at MagLab.
Details for scientists
- View or download the expert-level Science Highlight, Nb3Sn films via a novel hot-bronze method for compact accelerators
- Read the full-length publication, Rapid Nb3Sn film growth by sputtering Nb on hot bronze, in Superconductor Science and Technology
This research was funded by the following grants: L.D. Cooley (DOE DE-SC0018379), G.S. Boebinger (NSF DMR-1644779)
For more information, contact Lance Cooley.