SuperPower wins 2012 R&D100 Award with UH and ORNL for practical application of superconducting wire

SuperPower wins 2012 R&D 100 Award with University of Houston and Oak Ridge National Laboratory for practical application of superconducting wire

  • Improved wire ideal for electric power devices that operate in magnetic fields


September 7, 2012 - Schenectady, NY – SuperPower Inc., a subsidiary of Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd. of Japan, together with Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Houston was selected as a “2012 R&D 100” awardee for its development of “Highest Pinning Force, High-Temperature Superconducting Wires with double-Perovskite, Tantalate, Nano-Pinning Centers,” a rare-earth-based superconducting wire that is ideal for operation in high magnetic field.

The annual R&D 100 Awards, organized by R&D Magazine, a U.S. science and technology magazine, are granted to the 100 most promising research and development achievements from among products, processes, materials, and software introduced to the global market over the past year. It is a globally recognized award in its 50th year, and the U.S. Department of Energy has posted Secretary Steven Chu’s comments emphasizing the significance of winning the award and expressing his congratulations to winners.

SuperPower Inc. and the University of Houston were highly ranked for their practical application of rare-earth-based superconducting wire, the pinning function of which has been improved by evenly dispersing nanostructure oxides in the superconducting layer, giving the wire the ability to carry even more current in high magnetic fields.

Superconducting wires have zero electrical resistance and allow for transmission of electricity with no losses. These wires are, however, negatively affected by high-applied magnetic fields that limit the amount of current that can flow through the wire. This is because superconducting wires contain nanoscale magnetic vortices, which move in the presence of applied magnetic fields and destroy superconductivity.

The high strain created by the incorporation of double perovskite tantalate nanocolumns at nanoscale spacing into these superconducting wires, pins or immobilizes the magnetic vortex lattice and results in a very high pinning force in thick rare-earth-based superconductor films, enabling larger supercurrents in high-applied magnetic fields.

This wire is essential for superconducting devices such as superconducting magnetic energy storage (SMES) systems for electricity storage, wind power generators, MRI, and clinical accelerators, in which wires are wound into coils and high magnetic fields are generated.


Traute F. Lehner, SuperPower Inc.
Tel: (518) 346-1414 ext. 3070

About SuperPower
SuperPower Inc., a subsidiary of Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd. (TSE:5801; TYO:5801), was formed in March 2000 to develop and commercialize high temperature superconductor (HTS) technology for applications that benefit from high energy density, high magnetic fields and green attributes, including energy, medical, transportation, research and other sectors. To learn more, visit

Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd.
SuperPower Inc. is subsidiary
of Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd.
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