Advanced Undergraduate Laboratory

Department of Physics

University of Toronto

HTC: High Tc Superconductors

In late 1986 and early 1987 a revolution in superconductor technology occurred with the discovery of materials which are superconducting at temperatures above the boiling point of liquid nitrogen. Students manufacture from basic ingredients their own superconductor and then investigate its physical properties.Georg Bednorz and Alex Müller won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1987 for this discovery.

Write-Up in PDF Format or Microsoft Word Format (docx).

(The experiment is currently located in MP239. Last write-up revision: February 2018.)

Note: This experiment has an additional new kit set-up that uses premade samples for studies of both resistivity and magnetization is YBCO and BSSCO. The manual does not yet include information on these measurements; instructions will be provided by the supervising professor and the Colorado Superconductor manual below. Students doing the kit version of the experiment should still, however, carefully read the Introduction, Theory, and Safety sections of the HTC write-up.

Technical Resources:

Physics Resources:

Photo of student with HTC pellet

3rd year Engineering Science undergraduate, Xida Chen, with a High-Tc pellet that he made with his partner, Jasper Chan. The pellet was cooled to about 77K in a bath of liquid Nitrogen, then placed above the magnets. It is floating several millimeters above the surface of the magnets!.

Sample YCBO resistance vs temperature graph

Graph of sample resistance versus temperature for a YCBO sample created by 3rd year Engineering Science undergraduates, Jasper Chan and Xida Chen.

Last updated on 8 October 2020