Area of investment and support

Area of investment and support: Superconductivity

This research area focuses on the synthesis, characterisation and fundamental physics of superconducting materials and devices.

Partners involved:
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

The scope and what we're doing

This research area focuses on the synthesis, characterisation and fundamental physics of superconducting materials and devices. It includes work on superconducting electromagnets and has close links to research into entangled quantum systems and into cryogenics. This also includes theoretical and computational research.

Researchers from the superconductivity community have diversified their interests and many now work on research captured by other areas. For example, Condensed matter: electronic structure includes research on correlated electron systems, which requires a similar range of expertise as superconductivity research.

This diversification has seen a reduction in proposals for research related specifically to the superconductivity research area and we expect to see a continuation of this trend as an increasing number of researchers investigate the uses of superconducting materials. We will monitor this trend and refresh it in the light of any significant developments.

There have been substantial developments in the field of superconductivity globally and we will continue to keep the latest developments under review and assess how they should shape our approach going forward.

We will:

  • continue to support researchers working on the fundamental physics of superconducting materials, on new materials opportunities opened up by the recent increases in Tc and on problems such as the origins of high-temperature superconductivity
  • encourage links with those looking to use superconducting materials
  • encourage members of the community working on superconducting quantum devices to be responsive to changes in the global quantum technology landscape – this will maximise opportunities for impact.

Why we're doing it

Researchers in this area have strong links to those in areas such as Condensed matter: electronic structure, Condensed matter: magnetism and magnetic materials and Spintronics.

There are also links with Electrical motors and drives and electromagnetics, while an increase in interest in superconductivity in 2D materials means there are growing links with the Graphene and carbon nanotechnology research area.

This community has made good use of large-scale facilities such as Diamond Light Source, the ISIS Neutron and Muon Source and high magnetic field facilities to deliver important work on superconductivity materials, especially iron pnictides and cuprates.

Researchers in this field are able to contribute to the potential future use of superconducting electric motors in the aerospace industry, as well as to improving superconducting magnets for incorporation in smaller, cheaper magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners. This research area is also well-placed to contribute to the quantum technologies community through the development of superconducting qubits.

The current community structure provides an appropriate balance of training and development opportunities across career stages, as well as providing skills for delivering high-quality research.

View evidence sources used to inform our research strategies.

Past projects, outcomes and impact

Visualising our portfolio (VoP) is a tool for users to visually interact with the EPSRC portfolio and data relationships. Find out more about research area connections and funding for Superconductivity.

Find previously funded projects on Grants on the Web.

Last updated: 6 January 2023

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