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immagine_testata

MgB2, a two-gap superconductor for practical applications

16/12/2011

MRS Bulletin, August 2011 vol.36 , pp 608-613

M.Putti1 and G.Grasso2                                                                                                                                          1CNR-SPIN and Dipartimento di Fisica, Università di Genova via Dodecaneso 33, 16146 Genova, Italy 2Columbus Superconductors SpA, Via delle Terre Rosse 30, 16133 Genova, Italy

The history of superconductivity in MgB2 has been short, but intense. Ten years after its discovery, the two-gap mechanism of superconductivity in MgB2 has been mastered to a considerable extent while developing its superconducting properties in wires that meet the technical and economic requirements of industrial applications. The hope for dry superconductivity (i.e., without any liquid cryogen) using this simple and low-cost material has been recently fulfilled, with current commercial availability of MgB2-based dry MRI machines. We expect that scientific progress in understanding and developing MgB2 conductors will continue, strengthening the base for further deployment of MgB2 in applications. This article presents the main scientific and technical highlights of MgB2, describing its two-gap superconductivity, progress in improving its superconducting properties, the advances toward making MgB2 a fully recognized practical superconductor, and its prospects for ongoing and upcoming applications.

journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract