Original Publication Date: 1990-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-16
Disclosed is a device which utilizes the levitation properties of superconductors to provide electrical switching between two or more contacts.
a device which utilizes the levitation
properties of superconductors to provide electrical switching between
two or more contacts.
It has been
well established that magnets can be suspended or
levitated above a superconductor. Above the superconducting
transition temperature (Tc), levitation does not occur and the
contacts in the figure remain open. As the sample is cooled below
its Tc, the magnet will rise and complete the circuit, demonstrating
the temperature- dependent switching effect. Shown is a simple
two-pole configuration, but extension to a multi-pole set-up can
easily be produced.
can be made of a metal, such as copper or Au,
while the magnet can be made from a variety of common metallic
magnets. The superconductor preferably will be of the new, high Tc
materials, such as the Y-Ba-Cu-O compounds, but lower Tc materials
are also possible.
levitation switch can also be activated by controlling the
critical current (Jc) and/or critical magnetic field (Hc) of the
for a levitation switch are most easily visualized
on a large scale. However, using suitable miniaturizing techniques,
a variety of integrated circuit applications may also be possible.