University of Cambridge (UCAM) UNITED KINGDOM


The University of Cambridge (UCAM) has around 18,000 students and 6000 research and teaching staff. It is a major centre for research in science and engineering and is noted for its strength in stimulating and supporting new technology in collaboration with existing industry or in start-up ventures. UCAM has a strong superconductivity programme spanning several departments, with Materials Science and Metallurgy leading conductor development. The department has an extensive portfolio of contracts for superconductivity research and collaborates with many leading laboratories and industries in Europe and worldwide.

Previous relevant experience related to the project’s aims:

Expertise: UCAMhas leading expertise in the materials science and technology of superconductors going back more than 40 years. Prof. Driscoll invented the means for nanopinning of YBCO (in 2003), and pO2 controlled liquid assisted growth of YBCO (In 1995) and these methods are now being adopted by industries worldwide. Dr. Glowacki has led the development of inkjet printing for functional materials deposition in MS&M, developing expertise in the formulation and inkjet deposition of sol-gel and suspension inks for applications including YBa2Cu3O7-x coated conductors, solid oxide fuel cells, proton conductors and photocatalysts. ASCG has a World-recognised expertise on design and modelling of the AC low loss conductors.

Specific facilities: The Device Materials Group group has several RHEED PLD and sputter deposition systems available for the project. The characterisation tools include standard and high-resolution X-ray devices, AFM, PPMS systems up to 14 T, FIB with high resolution SEM and EBSD, access to standard as well as aberration corrected high-resolution TEM. E-beam writing is available for the realisation of nano-scale structures. ASCG has developed electromagnetic and piezoelectric inkjet printing systems suitable for buffer layer and superconductor deposition, and a quantitative drop visualisation system for ink jetting optimisation. Other characterisation tools include XRD, thermal analysis (DTA, DSC, TGA, FTIR-EGA), SEM and EBSD, UV-vis spectroscopy for on-line formation control, unique purpose-built 32 T pulsed Ic measurements, high current goniometric characterisation Jc(B,f,y) and scanning Hall probe magnetometry. AC field-AC current loss measurements system.

Profile of staff members involved in the project:

  • Prof. J. Driscoll has managed several large EU projects including the MC Excellent Grant Nanofen (now completed) and now an ERC advanced investigator grant (NOVOX), these grants totalling more than 3M Euro. Prof. Driscoll also has wider experience with functional oxides which can enormously benefit this project. She has more than 250 publications, an h-index of 35 and was the first female Professor in her dept. in Cambridge. She has more than 8 patent applications in the last 8 years, some joint with industry. A number of her inventions have have led to industry take-up, including BZO additions to YBCO (Superpower), pO2/ liquid assisted growth (SuNAM), doping of BiFeO3 (Fujitsu).
  • Dr B.A. Glowacki was the first in Europe to independently develop a high-temperature YBa2Cu3O7-based conductor. Glowacki founded the processing group in Cambridge’s Superconductivity IRC and is now Head of the Applied Superconductivity and Cryoscience Group (ASCG). He defined the correlation between transport current percolation and ac losses in multifilamentary YBCO coated conductors. His patented Composite Reaction Texturing, CRT, of an MgO-reinforced composite superconductor was used by Rolls-Royce to build the UK’s first resistive Fault Current Limiter; and he developed the world’s first MgB2 conductor based on ex situ and in situ powder-in-tube technology, which became the global standard route for MgB2 conductor preparation.

Dr A. Kursumovic is a senior experienced post-doc and is a key member of the UCAM HTS research team, having been involved in HTS research for more than 20 years. He helps directthe research efforts of around 5 other superconductivity researchers in the group and is highly experienced with all deposition and characterisation technologies. He has worked closely with industry on fabrication of successful fault current limiter devices.

  • Dr. S. Harrington is a Research Fellow with expertise in the growth and characterisation of second phase extrinsic pinning systems in YBCO-123. She was the first in the world to develop tantalate pinning in CC.
  • Dr. G. Ercolano is a Research Fellow with expertise in PLD growth. He was the first in the world to develop niobate pinning in CC.
  • Dr S.C. Hopkins is an experienced Research Associate, helping direct the research of four other researchers. He has a strong background in the optimisation and characterisation of LTS and MgB2 wires and HTS CCs. His current research focuses on inkjet printing, in which he has expertise in developing printing and jetting characterisation systems and applying them to functional oxide coatings (YBCO, YSZ, CGO, TiO2). He has worked closely with industrial partners on the development of scaled-up inkjet deposition, notably ZenergyPower on successful buffer layer and YBCO deposition for fau.


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