Size reduction of boron particles by high-power ultrasound for optimization of bulk MgB2

Sai Srikanth Arvapalli, Muralidhar Miryala, Milos Jirsa, Masato Murakami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Critical current density, Jc, in superconductors is strongly connected with size of defects in the material. Frequently, the smaller defects, the higher Jc. In this work, we tried to reduce the size of cheap commercial boron precursor powder using high energy ultra-sonication in ethanol media. The resulting powder was then utilized in synthesizing bulk MgB2 via sintering at 775 °C. Effect of boron powder ultra-sonication on superconducting properties of the bulk MgB2 was studied and discussed. SEM of ultra-sonicated boron showed fine particles with sharp edges (high-energy surfaces), irregular shapes and clustering of fine particles occurred for longer ultra-sonication durations. XRD proved a high quality of MgB2 with only small traces of MgO. Around 36% improvement in Jc at 20 K and Tc close to 39 K were observed in MgB2 bulk prepared with boron ultra-sonicated for 15 min. Microstructure studies showed numerous nanometre sized MgB2 grains in the bulk. Other bulks (made of boron ultra-sonicated longer, for 30, 45, and 60 min) have larger grains. It resulted in slightly lower Jc, anyway, still by 22% higher than in reference bulk. The present results demonstrate that the high performance bulk MgB2 can be achieved without reduction in Tc via employing a cheap boron, reduced in size by high-energy ultra-sonication.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberabb63e
JournalSuperconductor Science and Technology
Volume33
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Nov

Keywords

  • Bulk MgB2
  • Cheap commercial boron
  • High energy ultra-sonication
  • Sintering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry

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