Superconducting Thick Film (Praseodymium 123)

The substance commonly known as 123 is a heavily studied superconducting ceramic. Though not the highest temperature superconductor, 123 superconducts at a considerable 90K and is perhaps better understood than any other high temperature superconductor. A significant amount of research in the superconductor field today is centered upon increasing the handling capabilities of this and similar materials. While shown here as a thick film, the most common form that 123 appears in is a pellet pressed into shape from ground powder, which is only capable of carrying currents a little stronger than 100 amperes per square centimeter. However, research has revealed that by partially melting and recooling the pellets, the grain boundaries of the material are restructured, facilitating a significant increase in the current density capabilities. Even higher current densities have been obtained on epitaxially grown thin films through techniques such as Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE) and laser ablation.


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