Key Laboratory of Applied Superconductivity is currently the only institution working on the cross-disciplinary researches of superconductivity in China. It was founded in 1970. The lab dedicates itself to the basic and key technological researches on the power electric and high magnetic field applications of the non-ideal II class superconductors. The research covers the range of superconducting materials, the superconducting electrical power science and technology, as well as superconducting high field magnet science and technology. They are cross-disciplinary between superconductor science and technology and electrical engineering, cryogenics, material sciences, and life sciences. The aim of the lab is to boost the practical usages of the superconducting electrical engineering in China and supply the technological basis to the sustainable developments of energy, traffic and medical industries, as well as key scientific projects. The main research areas of the lab are superconducting materials and the material preparation techniques under high magnetic fields; superconducting electrical power science and technology; and superconducting high field magnet science and technology.
The lab is equipped by two large helium liquefiers (150L/h and 50 L/h, respectively) and a variety of superconducting magnet systems, as well as common electromagnetic measurement devices, power supplies, G-M cryocoolers, cryostats (liquid nitrogen and liquid helium vessels), winders, vacuum furnaces, multi-arc magnetron sputtering systems, etc. All the equipments are open for sharing.
The lab has taken a number of key research programs funded by the national foundations, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the local governments, as well as various co-operative projects in all the aspects supported by the enterprises. Most of the researches are focused on the orientation of superconducting power electrical engineering, superconducting magnets and application of high magnetic fields. The researches are agree with the international leading fields in applied superconductivity technology, and tightly corresponded with the needs of the related industries in China, too. The research of these programs covers a variety of areas, including the investigation of the basic electromagnetic properties in superconductors, measurements of basic parameters, theory and prototype of new superconducting power devices, accelerators, medical, space antimatter detection technology, applied basic researches on material treatment technology under high magnetic fields, key technology in superconducting magnets, key technology in superconducting electrical power devices and its coordinative operation in power grid.
Among the works above, the basic researches on the electromagnetic properties in high temperature superconductors are applied in the development of the superconducting electrical power technology. The successful development and operation in the power grid of the high temperature superconducting power cable, the high temperature superconducting transformer, the high temperature superconducting fault current limiter and the high temperature superconducting energy storage system have covered almost all the leading areas in the contemporary superconducting electrical power technology. It creates very good impressions all over the world, and strongly accelerates the pace of the progresses of the superconducting power applications in China. The applied basic researches in superconducting magnets have been practically utilized in the big scientific projects. The applied researches of superconducting magnets have broken forward in the areas of new type inert navigation, pulsed power supply technology, space magnets and high power microwave systems. At the same time, independent key technologies were established in solid nitrogen impregnated high temperature superconducting magnets and lightweight superconducting magnets. In the area of superconducting materials and material preparation techniques under high magnetic fields, the first report of magnetic field enhanced grain enlargement and crystal grain growth properties with increasing magnetic field in perovskite YNiXMn1-XO3 magnetic film was regarded as one of the pioneering work in the area of high magnetic filed treatments in new materials by international peers.
In the past more than 30 years, the lab has obtained a number of important achievements, and successively won more than 20 scientific awards, including one third honor of the national scientific and technological progress award; one first honor, 10 second honors and more than 10 third honors of the ministerial-level scientific and technological progress awards; as well as one first honor and 3 second honors of the provincial-level scientific and technological progress awards.
Currently, the lab recruits one academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, 4 professors and Ph.D. instructors, 15 key researchers with Ph.D. and 4 postdoctoral researchers. From the lab, 70 master and 20 doctoral students have graduated successively. The director of the lab, professor Li Ye, Xiao is now the director of Institute of Electrical Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences. He also won the Outstanding Youth Fund from the National Natural Science Fund Committee, the special allowance from the State Department, the outstanding youth title of year 2007 from Chinese Academy of Sciences, and enrolled in the national level “New Century 100-1000-10000 Talent Project” in 2007.