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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/C535758/1
Title: High Pressure - high field measurements of the effect of hydrostatic and uniaxial strain on the critical current density of superconductors
Principal Investigator: Hampshire, Professor DP
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
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Department: Physics
Organisation: Durham, University of
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 14 November 2005 Ends: 13 November 2011 Value (£): 1,641,116
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Materials Characterisation
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Summary on Grant Application Form
Following the support for the EPSRC grant GRIK708654 (1996 - 1999), researchers at Durham University designed and built the world's leading instrument for measuring the uniaxial strain dependence of the critical current density of superconductors in high fields and at variable temperature. The uniaxial strain was applied using the helical spring method which facilitates measure of both tensile and compressive strains and achieves very high electric field sensitivity. Following this work, Hampshire (P.I.) was invited to join the European Fusion Development Agency's committee of magnet experts and the NEDO (Japanese-led) international consortium for the development of composite superconductors.Given no place here for false modesty, for several years we have been producing some of the most reliable and beautiful data in the field for the international community designing and building large magnet systems - in particular those magnet engineers working on the design of the $ 10 B ITER Fusion machine. We have also developed a framework for describing Jc that includes both microscopic theory and phenomenological GinzburgLandau theory.Using the know-how and expertise we now have, we intend to design and build a new instrument that will provide for the first time, independent control of both uniaxial and hydrostatic strain in which the critical current density of high field superconductors is measured in a hydrostatic environment of up to 14 Kbar. There are no measurements reported in the literature of the effect of hydrostatic pressure on the critical current of superconductors. We intend to investigate both low temperature and high temperature superconductors and investigate the role of the magnitude and angle of the magnetic field - since under uniaxial strain even isotropic superconductors become anisotropic. The design and operation of the probe is an extremely demanding scientific challenge. Expertise is required in Cryogenics, high pressure systems, electromechanical measurements, high magnetic field measurements and high sensitivity voltage measurements at high currents. It has been clear for more than a decade that we need to measure and understand the properties of superconductors under both uniaxial and hydrostatic strain in order to optimise the properties of technologically important superconductors in large high field superconducting magnet systems and to understand the underlying mechanisms that determine the critical current density.The prizes from successfully building this probe are very considerable - we can lead the development of the understanding of the critical current in superconductors - which is important from both an industrial and academic perspective - and contribute to the knowledge base and training which underpins the UK's leading role in optimising the design and production of industrial high field superconducting magnets.
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