Why are superconductors important? current progress and related companies


Introduction to Superconductors

What is a superconductor?

Superconductivity was discovered by Dutch physicists in 1911. It means that when the material is below the critical temperature, it has zero resistance and complete diamagnetism (Meissner effect). It will not generate heat, cause no energy loss, and become a permanent current.

The value of superconductor

Superconductors have been verified to be feasible at room temperature and normal pressure, which will effectively solve the common chip overheating problem in chip design. In addition, power plants generally transmit power through metal cables. Since metal cables still have resistance, energy will be lost during power transmission. If the transmission cables are made of superconductors, energy efficiency can be greatly improved.

Why is it difficult?

The currently known superconductor materials can only exhibit superconducting properties at lower than room temperature or under high pressure, so it is still difficult to apply them in practice. Superconductors are materials that can conduct electric current with zero loss, but are extremely difficult to use in practice because they usually need to be cooled to extremely low temperatures of around -196 degrees Celsius and extremely high pressures are required to become superconducting.

All amazing breakthroughs are fakes

Therefore, if superconductivity can be realized at normal temperature and pressure, it will be of great significance to the development of human science and technology. In recent years, multiple research teams have repeatedly claimed to have achieved room temperature superconductivity, but they have all been proven to be false.

The most recent one is March 2023. At the March meeting of the American Physical Society, Ranga Dias from the University of Rochester announced that their team has achieved room temperature superconductivity at near-environmental pressure; at 21 degrees Celsius, 1GPa (approximately equal to Under the pressure of 10,000 atmospheres), room temperature superconductivity has been realized in the thulium-nitrogen-hydrogen system material.

However, this research itself is still uncertain. Some scholars have questioned the experimental data, thinking that the sample is too uniform, and the experimental results have not yet been replicated by other research institutions. Moreover, the leader of this team has a criminal record. Ranga Dias’s paper published in Nature in 2020 was retracted. Multiple research groups tried to repeat the experiment, but the results were not ideal. Ranga Dias did not disclose the original data, and later said that the metal hydrogen synthesized in his paper had disappeared, triggering unanimous protests from the academic community.

Will it disrupt industries?

At present, the application of superconducting materials is limited to low temperature and high pressure environments. If a breakthrough is made in room temperature and atmospheric pressure superconducting materials, it will bring about changes in many fields such as energy, transportation, computing, and medical testing. And there are advances in computer chips, rail transport and medical imaging.

Major industries that will be disrupted include:

Scientific research

Fundamental scientific research often requires an environment with a strong magnetic field. Large-scale particle accelerators, high-energy particle detectors, and artificially controllable nuclear fusion devices all require high-strength superconducting magnets.


At present, the most efficient UHV AC power transmission technology needs to pass through the substation and transmit it to each household at the mains voltage. Long-distance transmission will cause loss of electric energy, resulting in energy waste and increasing the burden on the environment. The zero-resistance superconducting circuit does not need a substation at all, and can transmit high power at a lower voltage and transmit electric energy with zero loss. This is a revolutionary change for the energy industry.

It will be able to provide more efficient energy transmission, conversion and storage: Superconducting materials can use the characteristics of zero resistance to manufacture cables that are loss-free and energy-saving during power transmission, and transmit power without loss of power, making energy The transmission efficiency, stability and reliability have been greatly improved.


You may have heard of or taken the maglev train. The speed per hour is similar to that of the high-speed rail. The high-speed maglev train at Shanghai Pudong Airport only takes 8 minutes to cover a distance of 30 kilometers. If it is replaced with superconducting magnetic levitation, the speed can be doubled. In 2020, Southwest Jiaotong University has built the first high-speed superconducting maglev prototype car. In the future, if you take a superconducting maglev high-speed train with a speed of more than 600 kilometers per hour, everyone will travel more efficiently.

Superconducting can provide higher-speed transportation: Superconducting materials can improve the efficiency of power transmission and reduce the cost of maglev trains, which will directly affect the transformation of high-speed transportation.

Information Technology

Can provide faster information processing speed: Superconducting materials have high quantum properties in low-temperature environments, which can be used to build quantum computers, whose operation speed is far faster than existing computers, or will bring about huge changes in the field of information processing.

Laptops, mobile phones, and tablets that everyone usually use are prone to hot hands due to poor heat dissipation, slow computing speed, and burn out motherboard components. Chips are getting smaller and smaller, and the problem of power consumption in traditional circuits is becoming more and more obvious. If you can use superconductors to make electronic components, you don’t have to worry about CPU heating.


The magnetic resonance imager (MRI) used in hospitals today has high imaging clarity and recognition, relying on superconducting magnets. The ultra-strong superconducting magnet MRI technology of more than 14 tesla can capture the information in the human brain. All 86 billion neurons are clearly measured, providing accurate medical diagnostic images for many diseases.

It will be able to provide more advanced treatment methods: superconducting materials have a wide range of applications in the Healthcare field, such as tomography (MRI), superconducting coils and so on. The emergence of superconducting materials under normal temperature and pressure will provide the possibility of miniaturization and portability of medical equipment and promote the development and progress of medical technology.

Quantum computing

Superconducting qubit technology helps build quantum computers and achieve quantum supremacy. For details on quantum computing, please refer to my previous post “Quantum computing current progress and related stocks


Superconductors can be used to develop high-intensity electromagnetic pulses (EMPs) that can disable all electronic devices within range.


Space exploration, superconducting magnets, superconductors can control nuclear fusion engines, provide sources for space travel, spacecraft
Constant motivation. Regarding nuclear fusion, please refer to my previous post “The current progress of nuclear fusion, and relevant companies


Taking advantage of the zero-resistance advantage of superconductivity to make microwave devices can reduce the loss of data transmission, thereby improving the recognition of signals. 3G/4G base stations use high-performance superconducting filters, which can prevent the covered mobile phone signals from serial numbers and mixed traffic.

Discovery of LK-99

South Korea LK99 team

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (Science.org), the world’s largest non-profit scientific organization, pointed out on July 27, 2023 that South Korea’s Quantum Energy Research Center scientists Sukbae Lee and Ji-Hoon Kim posted on the website on July 22 Two papers on arXiv show that they claim to have developed a new normal temperature and pressure superconductor “LK-99”.

In this paper titled “The First Room-Temperature, Normal-Pressure Superconductor”, it was announced that the lead-apatite (LK-99) structure was improved, and the superconductor was synthesized from copper and lead-apatite, and successfully synthesized at room temperature, Superconductors at atmospheric pressure.

Since the required raw materials are easy to obtain, the paper has attracted worldwide attention after it was published. Such superconductors remain superconducting at temperatures well above room temperature (the critical temperature), do not need to be kept cold, and can work in strong magnetic fields. Although many scientists are still skeptical about the content, superconductors still ignite a heated discussion on the Internet.

The research team included Lee Seok-bae, representative of the Quantum Energy Research Institute, Kwon Young-wan, a research professor at Korea University, Oh Geun-ho, an honorary professor at Hanyang University, and Kim Hyun-joo, formerly at the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) in Korea. However, Jin Xianzhuo, one of the three members of the published Korean scientist team, also admitted in an interview with the American media that the paper was flawed, and a member of the team released it without authorization, and the team has requested that the paper be removed from the shelves.

Commercialization appears to have its difficulties, and the LK-99 synthetic superconductor does not appear to be malleable enough to make wires.

Theoretically feasible

The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory of the United States published a paper on August 1, pointing out that through density functional calculations, LK-99 and known superconductors have common characteristics A paper whose results support the “theoretical” existence of superconductivity in LK-99.

Sinéad Griffin (Sinéad Griffin), a researcher in the theory of nanostructured materials at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), a top laboratory in the United States, published a paper stating that it uses density functional theory (DFT) and GGA+U methods to carry out In addition to calculations, through density functional calculations, LK-99 and known superconductors have common characteristics.

This paper provides a theoretical basis for the so-called room temperature and atmospheric pressure superconducting materials of the Korean team recently, and provides a new direction and inspiration for the research of superconducting materials. However, the paper also emphasized that it is still difficult to synthesize a large number of superconductor samples in practice.

Hard to believe it’s true

Science magazine reported on July 27 that if the research results are solid, it is expected to become one of the most significant discoveries in the history of condensed matter physics, and it can also promote substantial advances in various technologies in related fields.

But the report also said that the South Korean team’s research “lacks details, causing many physicists to question it.” The lack of details in the original post made the physics community skeptical. If their claim is true, it would be the “ultimate superconductor,” according to Science.org.

Not surprised, the Korean Society of Superconductors and Low Temperatures (KSSC) said in a statement on August 3 that it asked the Quantum Energy Research Center to submit samples of room temperature superconductors for verification. He also pointed out that superconductors must have the “Meissner Effect” (Meissner Effect), which has not been shown in LK-99-related films and papers, so it is difficult to confirm that LK-99 is a room-temperature superconducting material. The characteristics shown in related papers and videos are different from the diamagnetism that superconductors should have, and it is determined that there is insufficient evidence to prove that LK-99 is a superconductor.

How to verify if it is true or not?

As emphasized at the beginning of this article, the two key characteristics of superconducting materials are: antimagnetic + zero resistance. And zero resistance is more difficult to achieve.

But so far, all the test teams have not announced the resistance of the materials announced by LK-99. Since the volume of the prepared material is too small, its conductivity cannot be tested, and the success of the superconducting material can only be determined when the resistance is tested to zero.

Cannot be reproduced

Because the thesis of LK-99 was too dreamy, several heavyweight research units immediately tested it within a few days. The materials science team of Beihang University, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, the School of Engineering and India’s CSIR-National Physical Laboratory have published papers showing that LK-99 room temperature superconductivity has not reproduced, and the results have not confirmed the existence of a large number of superconductors at room temperature. superconducting properties.

Top academic and practical achievements

Achievement is Nobel Prize level

Since the discovery of superconductivity, in less than a hundred years, more than 60 Nobel Prizes in Physics have been awarded in the field of condensed matter physics, and there are 10 for the smaller branch of superconductivity. Winning the award directly shows that this field is very important, and it is difficult and rewarding.

These five groups are the Nobel Prize in Physics, respectively in 1913 (first discovery of superconductivity), 1972 (BCS theory), 1973 (Josephson effect), 1987 (superconductivity of ceramic materials) and 2003 ( New theory of superconductivity and superfluidity).

More strictly speaking, prior to this, there were six groups of Nobel Prize winners for their breakthrough research results related to superconductors, five of which were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics and the other group was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine. This also explains why South Korea’s LK-99-related research was published and immediately swept the world, because this is a very rare achievement, enough to win the Nobel Prize in Physics.

Chinese physicist

In 1987, Zhu Jingwu, Wu Maokun and others announced for the first time that they could produce a superconductor that could make the resistance above 90K disappear.


However, even if LK-99 can be replicated in experiments, more development work is needed to perfect the material for commercial use, and there are still limitations such as low ductility and toxicity.

Related business

Taiji Quantum

After South Korea’s LK-99-related research was published, an American company also claimed to have developed a room-temperature superconductor. Taj Quantum Corporation of the United States, which intends to compete with related Korean research teams for the first room-temperature superconducting material, released a photo saying that it has newly discovered a room-temperature superconducting material, which is a graphene foam material and is very fragile.

Taiji Quantum claims: This unique type II superconductor (patent number: 17249094) can operate in a wide temperature range, including temperatures well above room temperature, from about -100° F (-73° C) to About 302° F (150° C) — a property that’s uncommon in the world of superconductors.

According to public information, Taiji Quantum Company was founded by CEO Paul Leary in 2018 and was originally named LGC. It has grown exponentially in the past year and has won numerous contracts to support the US military and large enterprises. However, it should be pointed out that the main business of Taiji Quantum Company is the identity verification system and encrypted communication based on the block chain, and most of the company’s related business contracts belong to this field.

In the press release issued by Yintaiji Quantum Squeezing Toothpaste, there is only one photo, which is a black sample block that is suspected to be suspended on a magnet. No experimental data is published, especially the experimental data related to magnetization and resistance. raises a lot of doubts.


American Superconductor Corporation (ticker: AMSC ) is a provider of megawatt-scale energy solutions that reduce the cost of wind power and enhance grid performance. The company manufactures products using two core technologies: the Power Mmodule programmable power electronic converter and its Amperium HTS (high magnification superconducting) wire.

Theoretically, AMSC can be regarded as a real beneficiary company that realizes the theory of room-temperature superconductivity. Before the sharp rise, the company’s total market value was only 300 million US dollars, and the small number of circulating stocks was also an important reason for the market speculation.

Western Superconductor

Western Superconducting Materials Technology Co., Ltd. (Western Superconducting, China stock code: 688122) was established in February 2003 and is headquartered in Xi’an. It is mainly engaged in the research and development, production and sales of high-end titanium alloy materials, superconducting products and high-performance superalloy materials. Sales business, in which high-end titanium alloy materials are mainly used in the military industry.

It is one of the main R&D and production bases of high-end titanium alloy rods, wires and forging billets in mainland China. It is also the only commercial manufacturer of low-temperature superconducting wires; the only niobium titanium ingot rod in the world , superconducting wire, superconducting magnet full-process production enterprises.

Closing words

Impact on the capital market

The discovery of LK-99 has caused superconductor concept stocks around the world (mentioned below) to soar day after day, but investors are reminded that among the superconductor concept stocks around the world that have benefited from the news and skyrocketed, in fact, “their industry is very far from superconductors. Far away, it’s almost all hype and a rush, investors shouldn’t dance with it, lest your hard-earned money go down the drain”

There is no superconductor company

Strictly speaking, there is currently no company in the world that takes superconductors as its main business. Most superconductor research, without exception, is currently attached to famous experimental research institutions or large academic institutions in major countries around the world.

US stocks

American Superconducting Corporation closed up 60% on August 1, 2023, and its single-day trading volume was more than 43 times the average daily trading volume. The company’s stock price rose by 124.97% in the past 5 days.

However, the company is actually a defense stock and does not own materials such as superconductors. After media reports, American Superconductors collapsed by 28.95% on August 2, and fell another 16% on the 3rd.

Mainland China stocks

China’s A-share superconducting concept also collectively rose sharply during this period. These so-called superconducting concept stocks include: National Cable Inspection, Jinhui, Fasten, Jingda, Zhongfu Industrial, Innovative New Materials, Bailey Electric , Western Superconductor, Baosheng shares, Lianchuang Optoelectronics, etc.

South Korean stocks

South Korean chemical companies Duksung and Mobiis, high-temperature superconducting wire technology company Sunam, and electronic parts manufacturer Shinsung Delta Tech all soared for several consecutive days.

In response to the frenzy of trading superconductor concept stocks triggered by recent research, the South Korean Stock Exchange raised the warning level on two stocks that have skyrocketed in recent days on August 4. The South Korean stock exchange stated that the South Korean chemical company Duksung and the control system equipment manufacturer Mobiis were listed as the second-level highest warning that if they continue to soar, they may be temporarily suspended from trading, reminding investors to be careful before investing . After the Korean stock market opened on August 4, Decheng shares fell 15% at the beginning of the session, and Mobiis fell 27%.

Taiwan stocks

Copper and lead raw materials stocks in Taiwan stocks have recently seen their stock prices rise sharply, including Taiming, First Copper, Space Shuttle, Jin Yiding and other stocks.

Commercialization is still far away

Since superconductors have not yet been proven to be feasible at room temperature, even if it is feasible, it will take a long time to commercialize on a large scale, and mass production and yield are also problems.

The most authoritative judgment released

Regarding the discovery of LK-99, Dan Garisto, a science writer who once worked at Fermilab, wrote an article in Nature entitled “LK-99 is not a room temperature superconductor, how scientific detectives can solve this mystery”. In the article, Gristow compiled recent research results from various institutions to explain why LK-99 exhibits superconductor-like behavior. The scientific sleuths discovered that the sharp drop in electrical resistivity of the sample, which allowed it to partially levitate on the magnet, was due to impurities in the material, especially cuprous sulfide. This conclusion completely shattered the hope of LK-99 as the first normal temperature and pressure superconductor in history. “I think that’s the end of the story,” said Vishke, an expert in condensate experiments at the University of California, Davis.

credit: Wiki

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