«What you puffed?» Moscow will try to set a world record of superconductivity

© RIA Novosti / Evgeny to Kumaripati in foobarcontroller No. 18 grandma’s«What you puffed?» Moscow will try to set a world record of superconductivity© RIA Novosti / Evgeny to Kumaripati in Photobacterium to daily updates RIA Science

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Substance with zero resistance, without loss of conducting electrical current, opened more than a hundred years ago. Scientists hoped to mass production and rapid implementation in practice, but hampered by technical problems and high price. Today the situation has changed. RIA Novosti tells how Russia has become one of the leaders in this field and which will install the world’s most powerful superconducting device.

Large currents Podolsk

«It’s a copper matrix with wires made of niobium-titanium is the «workhorse» of superconductivity since the 1960’s. it is made Of magnets for MRI and accelerators,» explains Vitaly Vysotsky, doctor of technical Sciences, head of Department of superconducting wires and cables Institute of cable industry (Podolsk).

It is rightly called a Patriarch of superconductivity in Russia. He took up this theme half a century ago, during the last years of the MSU physics Department when I came to FIAN. Many years participated in the work of the Navy, creating a unique electromagnetic trawl-based superconductors — vs bottom-min. to Introduce did not, the country began rebuilding. Vysotsky returned to science, only to have abroad. Several years conducted research in Japan, USA (MIT), France and other countries.

Eight years ago, Vysotsky took office in VNIIKP and held the world level of research and development, equipping the most modern equipment. This greatly facilitated the contract with ITER research fusion reactor type tokamak, under construction in the South of France.

«Made it to 28 conductors for the toroidal field magnets 39 and cables for magnets poloidal field. After 2015, when the contract ended, had to cut staff from 105 to 33 people,» the scientist sighs and leads to watch «little candle factory». So he calls a line for the production of superconducting cables.

«Cable» in this case is not quite accurate term. This is a rather complex device, the main element of which hundreds and thousands of superfine superconducting wires, twisted along the axis. They are collected into bundles and immersed in copper. The resulting rather thick wire is enclosed in the «trunk» of the cryostat.

Laying and twisting of the delays requires high accuracy. Every order is unique, therefore calculations and projects have lead almost from scratch, solving a lot of problems. Despite its age, the industry of superconductivity remains very high. Staff VNIIKP several times a year are published in leading international journals.

Superconductivity of mercury at the temperature of liquid helium at 4.2 Kelvin (minus 269 degrees Celsius) — opened in 1911 in the laboratory of physics of Kammerlingh-Onnes (Netherlands). In the early 1960s produced the first technically suitable low-temperature superconductors (ntsp) — alloy Nb3Sn, NbZr, NbTi. In 1986, physics, Bednorz and müller (Germany) discovered superconductivity at the temperature of liquid nitrogen (above 30 degrees Kelvin). Its called high temperature — high temperature superconductors. After a year, was synthesized corresponding connections, mostly cuprate different elements. There are thousands of superconducting materials, but for technical applications suited no more than a dozen ntsp, intermediate and high-temperature superconductors (MgB2, pnictides iron).

Scientists made a model, then working a three-phase sample with a length of two hundred meters of high-temperature superconducting tape of the first generation. At that time it was the longest and powerful superconducting cable in Europe. Cryogenic system with liquid nitrogen for it has developed in the MAI.

The product is tested, but on the last stage due to an unfortunate error has damaged the cryostat of the cable. While altered, the financial crisis — and the introduction of rose.

In 2014 the record we have selected the Europeans: in German Essen established a kilometer-long cable between the two substations.

In General, the possibility of superconducting cables far exceed the immediate problem. In addition, the power industry is very conservative area, and if you can do the old, proven devices that they will use. That’s why the existing superconducting power devices in the world — to be counted on the fingers. In addition to Europe, there are several projects in the United States, Japan, and South Korea.

The cable with the highest current ten kiloamperes used in China for aluminum production. In the «RUSAL» has been interested in superconductivity, but after learning the cost of the product, decided to postpone the order.

«We received this cable a government prize of Russia, and young researchers — award of the Governor of Moscow region. But it’s a job the day after tomorrow» — said Vysotsky.

Adjourned for the day after tomorrow and the introduction of superconductivity in the planes.

«Airbas on the development program until 2050 plans to create a fully electric civilian aircraft using superconducting motors,» adds Fetisov.

For this you need to increase the voltage that now the aircraft is impossible. The altitude where the air is thin, sharply increases the risk of short circuit. The only solution is to use superconducting cables. With cooling of problems will not arise. For example, in the Soviet Union was cryogenic Tu-155 with engine on liquid hydrogen.

And tomorrow is the application of superconductivity in ship motors, demagnetization warships.

As the energy storage superconductors because of the need to use cryogenics lose supercapacitors. The fact that superconducting cables will reduce energy losses, not impressive — paid-for all consumers. The lack of radiation is also not an advantage, because normal cables are now securely isolated.

«Seriously, in addition to major research projects, the only commercial implementation of superconductivity is the MRI,» concluded Wysocki.

According to him, in the civilian sector real prospects where it is necessary to pass large currents over short distances, and tomographically preventing the accident in the power grid during short circuits.

In the Soviet Union quickly adopted a state program on superconductivity, which brought together many institutions, helped to upgrade the lab.

«Someone might get the impression that of great activity in the field of high-temperature superconductors 1980-1990-ies nothing important happened. It is a profound mistake. Thanks to these works arose physics of granular structures and unprecedented Alliance of physicists and chemists working together on the problems of new materials. The result of this interaction, obtained entire subclasses of high-temperature superconductors», — continues the scientist.

The high temperature mercury-containing superconductors (critical temperature is 168 K under pressure) was opened at MSU, the staff of the Department of inorganic chemistry Sergey Putilin and Evgeny Antipov.

How scientists built a factory

To the mid-noughties, scientists have learned how to work with HTSC to have figured out how to flexible strips carrying thin layers of a superconductor. Decided technical problems associated with cryogenic systems. Appeared affordable station for the production of liquid nitrogen. Unlike helium, which is extracted in coal mines as associated natural gas (non-renewable and is, in fact, a strategic source of helium), liquefied nitrogen just from air.

In 2006 graduates of the chemistry Department of Moscow state University with the participation of Andrey Kaul on private investors founded the only in Russia industrial production of HTS — «Superox». Scientists have relied on high-temperature superconducting tapes of the second generation based on rare earth elements. It all depends on how well seasoned the orientation of the crystallites in the superconducting layer on the tape substrate. The smaller the angle of orientation of the crystallites relative to each other, the greater the current moves of such a superconducting layer. A well organized texture is obtained by epitaxy, when the crystallites of a single substance growing on the crystal grains of the other, repeating their orientation. «What you puffed?» Moscow will try to set a world record of superconductivity© Photo : Kostya NovoselovФизики turned the sandwich of graphene», isolator-superconductor»

Initially scientists had mastered the technology RABiTS. Substrate — Nickel alloy, turned to cold rolling into strip of a thickness of not more than one hundred microns. It is annealed at a high temperature below the crystallite lined up uniformly, reducing the surface contact with each other. Next, tape is applied to the buffer layer and the superconductor layer, preserving the texture of the substrate. The tape is enclosed in a protective layer of silver, then we can work with it: roll it into a coil, to twist, to cut.

However, the RABiTS had faults: the randomness of the crystallites in the substrate are not always able to suppress, and rolling mills are reluctant to take orders for small parties. Therefore, scientists gradually switched to IBAD technology that does not require a textured metal substrate, — it is replaced by simple stainless steel. The source of the right texture serves as a buffer layer separating the superconductor from the substrate. Growth equally oriented «germ» in it is achieved by bombardment of the surface by an auxiliary beam of ions of argon.

© Photo : Elena Havin/ press service Emptively vortex (Abrikosov vortex) at the boundary between a superconductor and a normal metal. These vortices are deducted for defects in the structure and penetrate into the interior of the superconductor, making it resistant to external magnetic field.«What you puffed?» Moscow will try to set a world record of superconductivity© Photo : Elena Havin/ press service Emptively vortex (Abrikosov vortex) at the boundary between a superconductor and a normal metal. These vortices are deducted for defects in the structure and penetrate into the interior of the superconductor, making it resistant to external magnetic field.
Real nanotechnology

The company «Superox» is based in Technopark «Slava» in Moscow. General Director — Sergey Samoilenkov, and the Department carries out multi-step and complex process of production of a superconducting tape, led by Alexander Molodyk. Both had previously worked abroad.

«First we purify the metal ribbon of dirt, stretching through an ultrasonic bath with detergent solution. Then, to smooth out the smallest of surface roughness, electrochemically polished, passing through a plating bath,» says Samoilenkov, following from installation to installation.

Cleaned and polished the tape is drawn through a vacuum chamber where napyljajut buffer layers of oxides of aluminum, yttrium, magnesium and manganite of lanthanum. At the time of deposition of magnesium oxide on the side has a beam of ions of argon. This suppresses the chaotic orientation of the growing crystallites and causes them to go a certain way along the tape. This creates the correct texture.

On the formed buffer layer precipitated epitaxial layer of a superconductor, which adopts the underlying texture. Here, working with connection of R-Ba-Cu-O, where R is gadolinium. For deposition using an excimer pulse laser that shoots two hundred times per second via ceramic target. Wearing special glasses, can be seen in the window chamber of the plasma torch formed by the substance converted into vapor under the action of laser pulses, and partially «eaten» the target.

A continuous layer of superconductor is deposited on a moving substrate from a plasma torch. Then tape silver and coated with copper, check on its physical characteristics and internal structure under the electron microscope.

You can make a tape length to five hundred meters. Longer and is not required, otherwise, the superconducting cable is hard to carry.

© Photo : Robert Hradil, Monika Majer/ProStudio22.quadrupole superconducting magnet, one of the components of the new version of TANK«What you puffed?» Moscow will try to set a world record of superconductivity© Photo : Robert Hradil, Monika Majer/ProStudio22.quadrupole superconducting magnet, one of the components of the new version of the TANK
Ahead of CERN and Moscow

Vysotsky and Kaul believe that the fundamental obstacles to the use of superconducting devices there: the materials created, technology developed, cryogenic equipment is available and reliable enough. However, while they are used only where they cannot be avoided, for example in MRI, fusion reactors, particle accelerators, including ISSY-4 (the synchrotron radiation sources of the last generation). Exploration of other niches such as energy, stopping the high price of goods and conservatism specialists. What could change the situation?

«We need political will and government support in the form of co-financing», — said Vitaly Vysotsky.

He wants to see a 200-metre power cable in operation. This will create a precedent and open the way to other commercial orders. Meanwhile, VNIIKP has signed a contract with CERN to supply superconducting cables for the modernization of the magnetic system of the Large hadron Collider and displays it to maximum performance.

Andrew Kaul does not doubt the prospects of high-temperature superconducting tapes of the second generation, as they are more stable than first generation tape, and may be cheaper.«What you puffed?» Moscow will try to set a world record of superconductivity© RIA Novosti / Alexander Krauledat in fotoracconti robotics DRF will build the engines from superconductors

«In addition, the cost of superconducting materials is of the order of ten percent. The price of the product increases due to the cryogenic system, testing infrastructure,» he says.

Now «Superox» produces 50 km of HTS tape in year and sells it to institutions and companies around the world. In the next three years it is planned to improve the performance seven times, especially for orders tomographically.

Such a device is intended for substation «Mnevniki» in Moscow: 18 series-connected coils of high-temperature superconducting tape immersed in the cryostat with liquid nitrogen. The current limiter is tested in South Korea by international standards. At the end of the year it will be connected to the Metropolitan grid. This will be Russia’s first real action of the superconducting device in the power facility and the most powerful in the world.

The second current limiter is tested in Saint-Petersburg. It is designed to protect are located along Railways traction substations overcurrent induced by passing trains or caused by emergency situations. Superconductor, in contrast to the usual copper, the short circuit instantly switches to normal and restored, allowing you to save the equipment.

Developments the day after tomorrow in the «Superox» also do. One of them is superconducting magnets for electroplating motors for space tugs, which will bring communication satellites from low-earth to geostationary orbit.

© Reidar Hahn / FermilabСверхпроводящий dipole magnet the Tevatron Collider«What you puffed?» Moscow will try to set a world record of superconductivity© Reidar Hahn / FermilabСверхпроводящий dipole magnet the Tevatron Collider