By: Jeremy Banda
It is truly fascinating how engineers in Japan developed a train that can reach high speeds and seem as if it were floating at the same time. It turns out that superconductivity played a prominent role in the creation of this machine. There are a few superconductors that are commonly known and the one that was used for this procedure was YBCO (YBa2Cu3O7). The purpose of this experiment is to synthesize YBCO and determine if it truly is a superconductor. YBa2Cu3O7 is a high temperature cuprate that is experimented on to determine the critical temperature superconductivity(the temperature at which the electrical resistivity of a metal drops to zero), the oxygen content, and crystal structure of the material. A few samples were grinded together to create the YBCO sample and then were put into a furnace three separate times in order to create pellets. The pellets underwent various methods in order to measure its properties. One of the methods that was tested on the YBCO sample is the x-ray diffraction which uses the lattice parameters( the physical dimension of unit cells in a crystal lattice) within the material to find the different spacings between each atom. Another one of the methods used is Raman scattering which can give the Raman peaks. With this information, the location of each YBCO layer can be identified by the mass and energy level within the crystal structure. A Meissner check is a simple method using materials such as a YBCO pellet, a magnet, and liquid nitrogen. After analyzing the results and data, it can be concluded that the YBa2Cu3O7 sample is a superconductor and can conduct electricity efficiently.
This research was conducted as a part of the Partners in Science Research Program. To read more, click here for a full pdf of Jeremy's formal research paper about his project!