Superconductors towards Energy Production, Transport and Storage, and High Magnetic Fields

Coordinator Gaia Grimaldi

Room temperature superconductivity has driven the search for new materials and compounds so far, but nowadays superconductivity at cryogenic temperatures is already an enabling technology in several real world applications. From material science to practical devices on the large scale of high field magnets as well as on the small scale of quantum world, there is still the need to achieve a comprehensive knowledge of this fascinating state of matter, its unique characteristics and functionality. Advanced and powerful methods of material design and modelling, high-resolved imaging of their quantum nature, structural, magnetic, thermo-electrical and transport characterisations, synthesis and architectures of innovative materials can bring superconductors towards a sustainable energy system. In particular, we study several forms of superconducting materials: single crystals and bulk/polycrystalline samples, from ultra-thin to thick films grown on crystalline and metallic substrates, mono and multi-filamentary wires, coated conductors and tapes, nanostructures, artificially engineering superconductors, so on and so forth. Materials are fabricated with different techniques such as Pulsed Laser Deposition or DC/RF sputtering, chemical routes, Powder-In-Tube technique. We deal with all classes of superconductors to assess and demonstrate also through a profitable technology transfer they can bring our society closer to an overall decarbonisation and healthy life.

A non-exhaustive list of the materials we study is the following.

Low Temperature Superconductors: Nb, NbN, NbTiN, MoGe, Al, MgB2, Hg

High Temperature Superconductors: REBCO with RE=Y, Sm, Eu, Gd; BiSCCO; TBCCO, NCCO

Iron Based Superconductors: 11-family; 122-family; 1144-family; 1111-family

Hydrides: H3S, LaH10, XH15 with X=Ca, Sr, La, Y

Heavy Fermion Superconductors: UPt3, CeCu2Si2

Research Topics

  • Chemical physics of materials
  • Development of superconducting materials in view of large scale applications
  • Study of materials defects at nanoscale
  • Unconventional superconductivity and vortex physics at extreme conditions

SPIN belongs to
Cnr - Department of Physical Sciences
and Technologies of Matter