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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Superconductive Properties Of 3D Printed Parts

Australian Researchers Explore the Superconductive Properties of 3D Printed Parts

Tyler Koslow | July 18, 2016

One year ago, we covered the scientifically progressive plans of University of British Columbia quantum materials researcher Jennifer Hoffman, who has been optimistically working towards quantum 3D printing, which would essentially enable the 3D printing of objects on the atomic scale. At the time, one of Hoffman’s primary goals over the next five years was realizing topological superconductivity, which would consist of characterizing superconducting behavior within confined geometries, and ultimately ‘3D printing’ layered arrays of superconducting 0s and 1s to create quantum devices. Superconductivity is a phenomenon that consists of absolutely zero electrical resistance, as well as the expulsion of magnetic flux fields in certain materials.
Well, a team of Australia-based researchers from the University of Melbourne and the University of Western Australia have just released a report that shows Hoffman’s hopes coming to fruition.

"The number of superconducting cavities in research projects is growing rapidly. They work by capturing and retaining microwaves, increasing the amount of time researchers have to study certain phenomena — for example, the speed of light. Despite their growing popularity, the cavities cost remains high, given the complex shapes required. It’s vital that all parts be high quality and perfectly formed, or researchers could end up with boatloads of false information. Need high-precision at a low cost? Sounds like a job for 3D printing." Source:

<more at; related articles and links: (Exploring superconducting properties of 3-D printed parts. July 18, 2016) and (A 3D printed superconducting aluminium microwave cavity. Daniel L. Creedon, Maxim Goryachev, Nikita Kostylev, Timothy B. Sercombe and Michael E. Tobar. Applied Physics Letters. 109, 032601 (2016). [Abstract: 3D printing of plastics, ceramics, and metals has existed for several decades and has revolutionized many areas of manufacturing and science. Printing of metals, in particular, has found a number of applications in fields as diverse as customized medical implants, jet engine bearings, and rapid prototyping in the automotive industry. Although many techniques are used for 3D printing metals, they commonly rely on computer controlled melting or sintering of a metal alloy powder using a laser or electron beam. The mechanical properties of parts produced in such a way have been well studied, but little attention has been paid to their electrical properties. Here we show that a microwave cavity (resonant frequencies 9.9 and 11.2 GHz) 3D printed using an Al-12Si alloy exhibits superconductivity when cooled below the critical temperature of aluminium (1.2 K), with a performance comparable with the common 6061 alloy of aluminium. Superconducting cavities find application in numerous areas of physics, from particle accelerators to cavity quantum electrodynamics experiments. The result is achieved even with a very large concentration of non-superconducting silicon in the alloy of 12.18%, compared with Al-6061, which has between 0.4% and 0.8%. Our results may pave the way for the possibility of 3D printing superconducting cavity configurations that are otherwise impossible to machine.])>

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