A superconductor is a material with zero electrical resistance when cooled to a critical temperature. Generally, this temperature is quite low and therefore expensive to maintain. In addition, many superconducting materials are toxic, difficult to solder, and have poor mechanical properties.
Researchers working at CU Boulder and NIST have developed an electroplated rhenium film that is superconducting at relatively high critical temperatures of up to 6K, which is well above the boiling point of liquid helium, making the critical temperature easy to obtain. The rhenium film has good mechanical properties, is non-toxic, and melts at high temperatures. Furthermore, the electroplating process can be easily scaled-up to mass-production and integrated into current fabrication methods. The rhenium film meets ideal characteristics desired for use in circuit boards and interconnects for ultrafast, next-generation computing applications.
Computer hardware components (circuit boards, cables and connectors)