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Superconductors (Energy Generation, Storage, Conversion and Transmission)

Prof. Driscoll has worked on copper oxide high temperature superconductors (HTS) since their discovery in 1986. She invented nanopinning in YBCO and also low pO2, liquid assisting processing. These methods have been taken up by industry. It is exciting times for HTS materials since 30 years after their discovery applications (e.g. fault current limiters and high field magnets) are now emerging. Prof. Driscoll is working with industry in the EU, the US and Asia to further develop the materials for fusion power, for power transmission for generators and for other magnetic applications (Fig. 1).  The work requires precision materials nanoengineering and novel processing. 

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Fig. 1a. Temperature versus magnetic field diagram for superconductor applications (from John Feigan et al. Supercon. Sci. Tech. 2017, DOI: 10.1088/1361-6668/aa90d1)

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Fig. 1b. cross sectional TEM image showing complex defect microstructure in YBCO film with Ta and Nb-based double perovskite pinning additions. These unique pinning centres enable high field properties to be achieved. TEM image is courtesy of Wang TEM group at Purdue (unpublished).