Magnesium diboride (MgB2) has the potential to be affordable and widely produced superconductors for various applications. However, its porous nature limits its superconducting properties. Recently, a multi-national team of scientists used spark plasma sintering, a high-pressure technique to fabricate highly dense, non-porous MgB2 bulks that can withstand larger forces and have an enhanced ability to hold and trap a magnetic field, paving the way for the development of super-magnets for lightweight portable applications.
Now in a study published in Materials Science and Engineering: B, researchers from Shibaura Institute of Technology, Japan, enhanced the trapped magnetic field in bulk MgB2superconductors by fabricating highly dense, non-porous MgB2 bulks. Using spark plasma sintering (SPS), the researchers heated commercially available MgB2 powder with pulsed electrical current at high pressures of 50 MPa. The results were fascinating: “It is the first study in which large, 40 mm diameter MgB2 bulks with 99.8% packing ratio were fabricated via SPS,” explains Prof. Muralidhar Miryala, who led the study.