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Name: Melissa
Status: student
Age: 20s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 1999 


Question:
What materials are available to use as high temperature superconductors? What is the process in makeing them?


Replies:
As far as I know, the high temperature superconductors (HTSC) are all ceramics. Some metals and alloys do have superconducting properties, but they are superconductors at very low temperatures (4 K). Copper for instance is one of these metals. Now, the unique properties of HTSC are because of the combination of different elements that may not be superconducting on there own. Some HTSC's include YBCO (yttrium barium copper oxide) and BSCCO (bismuth strontium calcium copper oxide). The copper is the element that conducts the electricity, but it is the other elements that help make it a HTSC. Superconductivity it very dependent on the structure of the material. YBCO and BSCCO are both copper containing superconductors, but they are different superconducting properties (YBCO is superconducting at 77 K and BSSCO is at 110 K just to show a couple differences). This is because of the difference in the atomic structure. As for making the materials, it can be made in just about any chemical lab or industrial setting. It is a matter of mixing the components of the material and "baking" them the right way. Certain "baking" methods will produce different SC properties.

There are some chemical companies who make the superconducting powders and there are some companies who manufacture superconductors for industrial uses, such as wires and tapes. I don't know who they are though.

Chris Murphy



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