Conformal Artificial Pinning Array for Enhanced Pinning of Superconducting Vortices

Student: Joseph Kavanaugh, 2014-2015

Sponsor: Prof. Boldizsar Janko - Physics, Notre Dame, IN

Superconducting material performance can now reach new highs, thanks to a technology developed jointly between the University of Notre Dame and Los Alamos National Laboratory. The technology is a method of patterning used for vortex pinning which is independent from the method of fabrication and provides for a significant increase in current capacity. By understanding and patterning the natural magnetic flux profile on the surface of a superconductor, it is possible to anchor troublesome vortices in a manner that allows one to almost double the current carrying capacity of the superconductor. This results in an appreciable cost reduction in commercial uses, like those of levitated high-speed trains and generators in wind turbines. The technology, tested by Argonne National Laboratories, shows promise for accelerating the use of superconductors in many application areas.