Superconductors are a technology in development, with disruptive application potential spanning across many branches of our society, including metrology, medicine, and quantum information technologies. Project FantastiCOF, that has started in November 2022, aims to radically improve the performance of superconducting components by utilizing novel materials to overcome some of the most prominent technological bottlenecks in superconductivity.
Funded by the European Union under the European Innovation Council Pathfinder program, the project brings together six partners – five academic institutions and one SME, from four different countries, on a path to synthesis of advanced materials and their application in low-noise Josephson Junction (JJ) superconducting components. The ambitious project merges the expertise of the partners in complementary disciplines in an unprecedented drive to develop novel synthetic concepts and the use of 2D materials towards a high-stake goal.
The project is an excellent example for the Pathfinder program, which provides funding for projects that are based on high-risk/high-gain science-towards-technology breakthrough interdisciplinary research. The main role of Graphenea will be to grow single crystals of graphene larger than 80 micrometers, which will provide an extremely high-quality foundation for the novel materials.
Superconductors are a class of materials that have vanishing electrical resistance, and magnetic flux fields expelled from the material. The implications of such unusual physical properties affect many fields of technology. For example, superconducting magnets are some of the most powerful electromagnets known. They are used in MRI/NMR machines, particle accelerators, and other advanced equipment. JJs are also components of the most sensitive magnetometers known. Superconducting magnets suspend a train above the tracks in maglev train technology. Promising future applications include high-performance smart grid, electric power transmission, transformers, power storage, electric devices, magnetic levitation devices, spintronic devices and refrigeration. Breakthroughs in superconductor science since the discovery of the effect in 1911 have all been associated to novel applications, which puts FantastiCOF on a good path to fulfilling the goals of the Pathfinder program.