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Recipe for liquid-nitrogen SQUID.

SQUIDs, or superconducting quantum interference devices, are extremely sensitive, ring-shaped detectors of magnetic fields. However, the rings typically consist of materials that become superconducting only when cooled to 4.2 kelvins, the temperature of liquid helium, and this requirement limits the applications of SQUID technology.

Researchers at Biomagnetic Technologies, Inc., in San Diego have now fabricated SQUIDs from ceramic copper-oxide materials that superconduct at 77 kelvins, the temperature of liquid nitrogen. Although several other groups have constructed such "high-temperature" SQUIDs, the Biomagnetic Technologies team has developed a practical manufacturing process that significantly reduces the electrical noise that interfered with the performance of earlier devices.

"These [low-noise] SQUIDs are sensitive enough for many of the applications presently possible only with liquid helium devices," Mark S. Dilorio and his co-workrs report in the Dec. 19/26 NATURE.
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Title Annotation:superconducting quantum interference devices
Publication:Science News
Date:Jan 11, 1992
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