Related Films
The following related films are available in our free Lectures on Superconductivity


Magnesium diboride, MgB2, was first reported to be superconducting in 2001. The discovery of superconductivity at a temperature of 38-40 K in an intermetallic material, very much higher than the Tc of A15 superconductors like Nb3Sn, resulted in widespread investigation of MgB2, as well as a revived search for new superconducting materials.

Early Work in Cambridge

Initial work on MgB2 in Cambridge focussed on the production of powder-in-tube conductors. Bartek Glowacki produced the first conductors of this type in Europe, as reported in the department newsletter and our publications. Conductors have been produced by both in situ and ex situ techniques. In the former case, magnesium and boron are packed into the tube and subsequently reacted; in the latter, MgB2 powder itself is packed in the tube.

Ex-situ, sintered MgB2 in a copper matrix

In-situ, reacted MgB2 in a copper matrix

Copper, silver and stainless steel tubes have all been investigated, with a particular specialisation in copper (see above). Reinforced cables combining several materials have also been constructed, as illustrated below.

Copper matrix MgB2 strands twisted around a stainless steel core

Current Work

Research in this group continues to focus on the development of powder-in-tube conductors, working towards three specialist applications:

  • Fine wire for a space-qualified adiabatic demagnetisation refrigerator (ADR) - see project page
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Fusion applications

Our ADR project, in collaboration with the Mullard Space Science Laboratory and Scientific Magnetics (formerly Space Cryomagnetics), is the main focus of our conductor development work, and is supported by a PPARC Industrial Programme Support Scheme (PIPSS) grant (ref. PP/C503397/1).

A significant amount of work has also been performed on synthesis and doping techniques for magnesium diboride. Additionally, our experience with in situ resistometric characterisation is being applied to MgB2 conductors to gain a better understanding of reaction processes, with the aim of optimising design and processing.

Related processes and techniques

Related publications

Showing 35 publications related to MgB2 in reverse date order.
Links to online copies of these papers may require a journal subscription (personal or institutional).
1 Serdar Atamert, Mehmet N. Kutukcu, Jean-Louis Scandella, Algirdas Baskys, Zhaoyang Zhong, Bartek A. Glowacki, Novel Superconducting MgB2 Wires Made By Continuous Process
IEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity, 26 (3) 6201104 (April 2016) | DOI: 10.1109/TASC.2016.2549559 

12th European Conference on Applied Superconductivity (EUCAS 2015), Lyon, France, 6-10 September 2015

2 M Woźniak and B A Glowacki, Electromagnetically Assisted Densification of Copper-sheathed in situ MgB2/Cu Wires
Journal of Superconductivity and Novel Magnetism, 28 (2) 419-423 (February 2015) | DOI: 10.1007/s10948-014-2659-0 

4th International Conference on Superconductivity and Magnetism (ICSM 2014), Antalya, Turkey, 27 April - 2 May 2014

3 M Woźniak and B A Glowacki, Electromagnetic densification of MgB2/Cu wires
Superconductor Science and Technology, 27 (3) 035008 (March 2014) | DOI: 10.1088/0953-2048/27/3/035008 
4 M Woźniak, K L Juda, S C Hopkins, D Gajda and B A Glowacki, Optimization of the copper addition to the core of in situ Cu-sheathed MgB2 wires
Superconductor Science and Technology, 26 (10) 105008 (22 August 2013) | DOI: 10.1088/0953-2048/26/10/105008 
5 Michael J. Cheadle, Mariusz Woźniak, Leslie Bromberg, Bartek A. Glowacki, Xiaohua Jiang, Rong Zeng, Joseph V. Minervini, and John G. Brisson, DC Superconducting Cable Using MgB2 Wires
IEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity, 23 (3) 6200805 (June 2013) | DOI: 10.1109/TASC.2013.2248313 

Applied Superconductivity Conference 2012, Portland, Oregon, USA, 7-12 October 2012

6 Patel, A.; Hopkins, S. C.; Giunchi, G.; Figini Albisetti, A.; Shi, Y.; Palka, R.; Cardwell, D.; Glowacki, B. A., The Use of an MgB2 Hollow Cylinder and Pulse Magnetized (RE)BCO Bulk for Magnetic Levitation Applications
IEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity, 23 (3) 6800604 (June 2013) | DOI: 10.1109/tasc.2012.2236143 

Applied Superconductivity Conference 2012, Portland, Oregon, USA, 7-12 October 2012

7 Patel, A.; Palka, R.; Glowacki, B. A.; Giunchi, G.; Figini Albisetti, A.; Shi, Y.; Cardwell, D. A.; Hopkins, S. C., Permanent Magnet Enhancement of Fully Superconducting MgB2-YBa2Cu3O7-x Bearing
Journal of Superconductivity and Novel Magnetism, 26 (4) 923-929 (April 2013) | DOI: 10.1007/s10948-012-1915-4 
8 Mariusz Woźniak, Bartek A. Glowacki, Sylvester B. Setiadinata, and Adrian M. Thomas, Pulsed Magnetic Field Assisted Technique for Joining MgB2 Conductors for Persistent Mode MRI Magnets
IEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity, 23 (3) 6200104 (June 2013) | DOI: 10.1109/TASC.2012.2229093 

Applied Superconductivity Conference 2012, Portland, Oregon, USA, 7-12 October 2012

9 M Woźniak, S C Hopkins, D Gajda and B A Glowacki, Improvement of the critical current of in situ Cu-sheathed MgB2 wires by copper additions and toluene doping
Physics Procedia, 36 1594-1598 (2012) | DOI: 10.1016/j.phpro.2012.06.313 

Superconductivity Centennial Conference (SCC-2011: EUCAS-ISEC-ICMC 2011), The Hague, The Netherlands, 18-23 September 2011

10 M Woźniak, S C Hopkins and B A Glowacki, Characterisation of a MgB2 wire using different current pulse shapes in a pulsed magnetic field
Przeglad Elektrotechniczny (Electrical Review), 88 (8) 29 (August 2012) | View paper online 

ELMECO-7 AoS-10, Naleczow, 28-30 September 2011

11 M. Woźniak, S.C. Hopkins, D. Gajda, B.A. Glowacki, The effect of copper additions in the synthesis of in situ MgB2 Cu-sheathed wires
Physica C-Superconductivity and its Applications, 477 66-73 (July 2012) | DOI: 10.1016/j.physc.2012.02.036 
12 M. Woźniak, S. C. Hopkins and B. A. Glowacki, Study of short duration heat treatments of an in situ copper-sheathed MgB2 wire
Superconductor Science and Technology, 23 (10) 105009 (October 2010) | DOI: 10.1088/0953-2048/23/10/105009 
13 A Kario, A Morawski, W Häßler, M Herrmann, C Rodig, M Schubert, K Nenkov, B Holzapfel, L Schultz, B A Glowacki and S C Hopkins, Novel ex situ MgB2 barrier for in situ monofilamentary MgB2 conductors with Fe and Cu sheath material
Superconductor Science and Technology, 23 (2) 025018 (February 2010) | DOI: 10.1088/0953-2048/23/2/025018 
14 B.A. Glowacki and W.J. Nuttall, Assessment of liquid hydrogen cooled MgB2 conductors for magnetically confined fusion
Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 97 012333 (March 2008) | DOI: 10.1088/1742-6596/97/1/012333 

EUCAS '07: 8th European Conference on Applied Superconductivity, Brussels, Belgium, 16-20 September 2007

15 A. Kario, A. Morawski, B.A. Glowacki, T. Lada, M. Smaga, R. Diduszko, D. Kolesnikov, A.J. Zaleski, A. Kondrat and D. Gajda, Superconducting and microstructural properties of (Mg+2B)+MgB2/Cu wires obtained by high gas pressure technology
Acta Physica Polonica A, 111 (5) 693-703 (May 2007) | View paper online 
16 S.C. Hopkins, A. Morawski, B.A. Glowacki, I.D. Hepburn, C. Brockley-Blatt, S. Milward, S. Harrison, M.H. Hancock, N. Bay, A.J. Zaleski, Design Considerations for MgB2 ADR Superconducting Coils
Proceedings of ICMC '06, Volume 2, 157 (2007) 

CryoPrague 2006, incorporating ICMC '06: International Cryogenic Materials Conference 2006, Prague, Czech Republic, 17-21 July 2006

17 S.X. Dou, W.K. Yeoh, O. Shcherbakova, D. Weyler, Y. Li, Z.M. Ren, P. Munroe, S.K. Chen, K.S. Tan, B.A. Glowacki, J.L. MacManus-Driscoll, Alignment of carbon nanotube additives for improved performance of magnesium diboride superconductors
Advanced Materials, 18 (6) 785 (17 March 2006) | DOI: 10.1002/adma.200501617 
18 B.A. Glowacki, M. Majoros, K. Tanaka, H. Kitaguchi, H. Kumakura, M. Okada, M. Hirakawa, H. Yamada, M.H. Hancock and N. Bay, Critical current and cryogenic stability modelling of filamentary MgB2 conductors
Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 43 103-6 (July 2006) | DOI: 10.1088/1742-6596/43/1/026 

EUCAS '05: 7th European Conference on Applied Superconductivity, Vienna, Austria, 11-15 September 2005

19 S K Chen and B A Glowacki, The influence of unidirectional copper alloying on the critical current density of MgB2
Superconductor Science and Technology, 19 (1) 116-121 (January 2006) | DOI: 10.1088/0953-2048/19/1/019 
20 S. K. Chen, K. S. Tan, B. A. Glowacki, W. K. Yeoh, S. Soltanian, J. Horvat and S. X. Dou, Effect of heating rates on superconducting properties of pure MgB2, carbon nanotube- and nano-SiC-doped in situ MgB2/Fe wires
Applied Physics Letters, 87 182504 (31 October 2005) | DOI: 10.1063/1.2126148 
21 S. K. Chen, Z. Lockman, M. Wei, B. A. Glowacki, and J. L. MacManus-Driscoll, Improved current densities in MgB2 by liquid-assisted sintering
Applied Physics Letters, 86 242501 (13 June 2005) | DOI: 10.1063/1.1947374 
22 S. K Chen, Z. Lockman, C. Dancer, B. A. Glowacki and J. L. MacManus-Driscoll, Improvements in critical current with second phase additions to MgB2
MRS Spring Meeting 2005, (2005)

MRS Spring Meeting 2005, San Francisco, USA

23 S. K. Chen, M. Majoros, J. L. MacManus-Driscoll and B. A. Glowacki, In situ and ex situ Cu doping on MgB2
Physica C, 418 (3-4) 99 (1 February 2005) | DOI: 10.1016/j.physc.2004.11.011 
24 Chunxiang Cui, Debao Liu, Yutian Shen, Jinbin Sun, Fanbin Meng, Ru Wang, Shuangjin Liu, A.L. Greer, Soo Kien Chen, B.A.Glowacki, Nanoparticles of the superconductor MgB2: structural characterization and in situ study of synthesis kinetics
Acta Materialia, 52 (20) 5757 (1 December 2004) | DOI: 10.1016/j.actamat.2004.08.033 
25 S K Chen, B A Glowacki, J L MacManus-Driscoll, M E Vickers and M Majoros, Influence of in situ and ex situ ZrO2 addition on the properties of MgB2
Superconductor Science and Technology, 17 (2) 243 (February 2004) | DOI: 10.1088/0953-2048/17/2/002 
26 M. Majoros A.M. Campbell, B.A. Glowacki, R.I. Tomov, Numerical modeling of heating and current-sharing effects on I-V curves of YBa2Cu3O7 and MgB2 conductors
Physica C, 401 (1-4) 140 (15 January 2004) | DOI: 10.1016/j.physc.2003.09.025 
27 S. K. Chen, B. A. Glowacki, J. L. MacManus-Driscoll, M. Majoros, M. E. Vickers and S. H. Pawar, Mechanical alloying and Cu substitution on MgB2
Inst. Phys. Conf. Ser., No. 181 1242-1248 (2003) 

EUCAS '03: 6th European Conference on Applied Superconductivity, Sorrento, Italy, 14-18 September 2003

28 B.A.Glowacki, M.Majoros, M.Eisterer, S.Toenies, H.W.Weber, M.Fukutomi, K.Komori, and K.Togano, MgB2 superconductors for applications
Physica C, 387 153 (2003) 
29 B.A.Glowacki, M.Majoros, M.Vicker, M. Eisterer, S. Toenies, H.W. Weber, M. Fukutomi, K. Komori, and K.Togano, Composite Cu/Fe/MgB2 superconducting wires and MgB2 tapes for AC and DC applications
Superconductor Science and Technology, 16 297 (2003) 
30 M.Eisterer, B.A.Glowacki, H.W.Weber, L.R.Greenwood, M.Majoros, Enhanced transport currents in Cu-sheathed MgB2 wires
Superconductor Science and Technology, 15 1088 (2002) 
31 M.Majoros, B.A.Glowacki and M.E.Vickers, 50 K anomalies in superconducting MgB2 wires in copper and silver tubes
Superconductor Science and Technology, 15 269 (2002) 
32 B.A.Glowacki and M.Majoros, MgB2 conductors for dc and ac applications
Physica C, 372-376 1235 (2002) | DOI: 10.1016/S0921-4534(02)00981-4 
33 B.A.Glowacki, M.Majoros, M.E.Vickers and B.Zaimetz, Superconducting properties of the powder-in-tube Cu-Mg-B and Ag-Mg-B wires
Physica C, 372-376 (Part 2) 1254 (August 2002) | DOI: 10.1016/S0921-4534(02)00986-3 
34 B.A.Glowacki, M.Majoros, The MgB2 superconducting conductors for dc and ac applications
MONOGRAPH in Studies of HTS superconductors (Advances in Research and Applications) MgB2 ed. A. Narlikar, Nova Science Publishers, Inc., Huntington, New York, 38 p.361-396 (2001) 
35 B.A.Glowacki, M.Majoros, M.Vickers, J.E.Evetts, Y.Shi and I.McDougall, Superconductivity of powder-in-tube MgB2 wires
Superconductor Science and Technology, 14 (4) 193 (April 2001) | DOI: 10.1088/0953-2048/14/4/304 

Highly cited