News FocusSUPERCONDUCTIVITY

Material Sets Record for Metal Compounds

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Science  23 Feb 2001:
Vol. 291, Issue 5508, pp. 1476-1477
DOI: 10.1126/science.291.5508.1476

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Summary

Magnesium diboride, one of the simplest compounds around, superconducts at nearly twice the temperature of its closest metallic rival, researchers announced at a meeting last month in Japan. Although some ceramics can superconduct at temperatures up to 96 degrees higher, most metallic compounds are better at carrying current across gaps between grains of material and thus make better wires. Magnesium diboride could therefore become the superconductor of choice for a wide range of applications, such as the wires that make up the high-field magnets in magnetic resonance imaging machines.