YBCO Confronts Life in the Slow Lane

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Science  01 Feb 2002:
Vol. 295, Issue 5556, pp. 787
DOI: 10.1126/science.295.5556.787

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While MgBresearchers are already gearing up efforts to make kilometers of wire, researchers working with the top-of-the-line high-temperature superconductor are struggling for every meter. Six years after it was reported that a brittle ceramic superconductor composed of yttrium, barium, copper, and oxygen deposited atop a thin metal tape could carry a phenomenal 1 million amperes of electrical current per square centimeter of cross section, researchers still can't make tapes longer than a meter.