National MagLab magnet awarded R&D 100 award

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The first REBCO coil for the 32 tesla magnet.

Engineers and technicians at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, headquartered at Florida State University, received a 2022 R&D 100 award for designing and building the 32 tesla (T) superconducting magnet. The R&D 100 recognizes breakthrough ideas in science and technology, and the 32T magnet is the strongest all-superconducting magnet in the world.

“This award is a major achievement and positions this innovation in magnet technology at the highest level of achievement,” said FSU President Richard McCullough. “We are incredibly proud of the scientists and engineers at MagLab for their hard work and ingenuity in designing and building this extraordinary technology that will truly move us forward in our understanding of complex materials and quantum science.”

Often referred to as the “Oscars of Innovation,” the R&D 100 Awards are the only science and technology awards competition that recognizes new commercial products, technologies and materials of technological significance that are available for sale or license. Presented by R&D World magazine, the R&D 100 Awards program identifies and celebrates the 100 most breakthrough technologies of the past year.

The 32T fully superconducting magnet is the first of its kind and was funded by the National Science Foundation’s Division of Materials Research and the State of Florida. The magnet is composed of an outer set of traditional commercial low-temperature superconducting coils and a new inner coil set made of a high-temperature superconductor made of a combination of yttrium, barium, copper and of oxygen. MagLab scientists, engineers, technicians and other personnel have worked to develop entirely new techniques for isolating, reinforcing and deactivating the new internal coils. These techniques were essential due to the unique and complex electromagnetic and mechanical aspects of this new material.

“The 32T superconducting magnet was built after many years of materials development, and NSF is proud to see the fruits of one of its high-risk, high-reward investments in research infrastructure recognized as the one of the nation’s top R&D projects,” Sean said. Jones, who heads the NSF’s Mathematical and Physical Sciences Branch, which funds and oversees the MagLab. “This achievement demonstrates American leadership in high-field magnet science and technology and represents a major step in democratizing access to the high magnetic fields essential to American advances in quantum information science and engineering. , environment and health research.

After eight years of hard work, the 32T magnet reached its full field in 2017, producing a 36% increase in a single year and surpassing a record field that stood for 50 years. The magnet was moved, modified, tested and put into operation before being opened in 2021, allowing researchers around the world to conduct experiments to understand the physics of complex quantum materials.

“This magnet represents the hard work of many people in the lab and is a major achievement in magnet technology that has enabled a huge leap forward in the superconducting magnetic field available to researchers,” said MagLab Director Greg Boebinger. . “Its performance marks the start of a revolution in superconducting research magnets for high-field, low-temperature physics and chemistry and is an indicator of even higher fields to come with continued improvements in high-temperature superconducting materials. and magnet technologies.”

Building on the success demonstrated by the 32T magnet lab, in October 2021 the NSF announced a new $15.8 million grant for a detailed design of a 40T all-superconducting magnet. Dozens of researchers from the laboratory’s Magnet Science and Technology department and the Center for Applied Superconductivity are now bringing their unique expertise in materials research, magnet design and technology development to this new project.

The 2022 R&D award winners were selected by 50 industry professionals from around the world; winners will be honored in November at a black tie gala in San Diego.


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