Fabrication of superconducting MgB2 from boron oxide (B 2O3), and its microstructural and electrical characterization
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The discovery of superconducting MgB2 (39 K) draws attention to it as a new material for applications based on superconductivity. Many researchers successfully synthesized MgB2 using commercial boron and magnesium. In this study, elementary boron was obtained via an acid leaching process, after reacting B2O3, and Mg in an argon atmosphere at 800°C. Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDX) results revealed that the powder obtained from the reaction was boron in 92% purity with magnesium as the major impurity. Superconducting MgB2 was produced from this boron and magnesium, in an argon atmosphere at 900°C, by a conventional solid-state reaction. Superconducting MgB2 powders were compressed in a dye to pellets by a hot pressing technique at 500°C and 1 GPa. The microstructural properties of the MgB2 were determined by X-ray Diffraction Spectroscopy, EDX, and Scanning Electron Microscopy techniques. The electrical properties of the fabricated MgB 2 were examined by resistivity measurements in a closed-cycle cryopump system, between 20 and 300 K. The critical temperature (Tc) of the MgB2 pellets was around 32 K.