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Troubling connections.

Troubling connections

Making an electrical connection between a high-temperature superconductor and a metal wire may be trickier than many researchers had hoped or expected. A series of careful studies conducted by John H. Weaver of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and his collaborators reveals that metals such as titanium, iron copper and aluminum react with a ceramic superconductor. The reaction often disrupts the superconductor's surface to create a layer that is no longer superconducting. "These are fragile surfaces," Weaver says.

The only metals that appear to be safe for making electrical contact with a copper-oxide-based superconductor are gold and silver. The researchers have also found that depositing layers of compounds such as aluminum oxide or calcium fluoride can protect a superconducting surface without disrupting and changing the surface's properties.
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Title Annotation:difficulty of making connection between superconductor and a metal wire
Publication:Science News
Date:Mar 4, 1989
Previous Article:Superconductors with electrons in charge.
Next Article:What you see isn't always what you get.

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