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In the Spring 2011 Newsletter, I issued a Challenge to the Readership: to be on the watch at the various research meetings you might attend during the year for those new materials, techniques and phenomena that can be directly imported into the classroom or educational lab. I'd like to take this opportunity to reissue that Challenge, but also to share with you the best answer that I received during the year.
In the Spring 2011 newsletter, I had noted my use of the '1-2-3' (YBCO) High-Temperature Superconducting material in several classes (having done research with these materials previously). Several readers did request my 'recipe' for this material. What I was lacking, though, was a decent 'from scratch' recipe for the Bismuth compound (BSCCO). Former FEd Chair Larry Woolf sent me a selection of papers1 with not only the basic recipe, but with suggestions for variations and dopings of interest. My students have not had the time to make anything other than YBCO (yet), but I hope some of them will be able to also cook up some BSCCO in the near future – thanx Larry!
1.) N.M. Hwang, et al, Appl. Phys. Lett. 54, 1588 (1989); H.G. Lee, et al, Appl. Phys. Lett. 54, 391 (1989); R. Ramesh, et al, J. Mater Res. 6, 278 (1991); R.Y. Lui, Supercond. Sci. Tech. 5, 482 (1992).