Nikki Tagdulang

Title of the project: High-Temperature Superconductors for Vacuum Applications in Particle Accelerators

Supervisor and Host institution: Dr. Montse Pont at ALBA-CELLS

The Future Circular Collider (FCC) study is an international initiative, hosted by CERN, to address the open issues on the Standard Model, when CERN’s current particle colliders (LHC and HL-LHC) reach their limits. The FCC project aims to enhance the energy and intensity frontiers of colliders. This will be achieved with a 100 TeV center of mass proton-proton collider in an 80-100 km long circumference. As a consequence of having this unprecedented high energy, the beam will have to be steered by 16 T magnets cooled to 1.9 K. In addition, the beam will be powered with a 50 MW radiofrequency field and will produce 35.4 W/m/beam of synchrotron radiation. Most important, to avoid beam-induced heat load onto the cold surfaces of the magnets, a beam screen has to be designed, which should also minimize the cooling power requirements while keeping the impedance presented to the beam to the lowest possible value. Due to this, the beam screen temperature is chosen to operate in the temperature window of 40-60 K in the proton-proton collider of FCC (FCC-hh).

In this PhD research project, we focus on improving the performance of the beam screen of FCC-hh, in terms of minimizing beam impedance, by proposing the use of High-Temperature Superconductor (HTS) coated conductors. Specifically, our project aims to obtain knowledge on surface and beam impedance. The significance of using HTS materials as coatings for the vacuum chamber relies on the fact that their surface resistance below 10 GHz is much better than that of Cu at 77 K. This improvement in HTS surface resistance has been widely reported for epitaxial YBCO, grown on dielectric substrates, although we will use REBCO coated conductors, which are compatible with a beam screen. Furthermore, having high superconducting critical temperature Tc, is relevant to lower cooling requirements; an important factor in the FCC design. This PhD project is developed in the framework of a consortium between ALBA Synchrotron Light Source, Conseil europeen pour la recherché nuclear (CERN), Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Barcelona (ICMAB) Institut de Fisica d’Altes Energies (IFAE) and Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya (UPC).

“I feel privileged to be part of this prestigious project and fellowship. The driving force and how the organization envisions how the scientific community should work amazes me.”

I am from the “Pearl of the Orient Seas” - Philippines. I have earned my Master’s degree in Physics at Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology, Iligan City, Philippines. Already during my Master thesis, I was interested in high temperature superconductors, of which I studied its electronic properties. At present, I am focusing on its application, in particular for Particle Accelerators. The pursuit of my research career comes from wanting to be an academic researcher in the future. My research endeavor aims in becoming a physicist equipped with knowledge and proficiency on particle accelerators and microwave engineering. Moreover, to be able to impart this knowledge for the next generations of scientists to come. For this goal, working in my PhD project and working in collaboration with other highly recognized institutes is a stepping stone. I am currently an early stage researcher at ALBA Synchrotron Light Source and a PhD candidate of Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. I am eager to enhance my critical thinking skills and my know-how to work independent. In addition, my PhD project is within a consortium having very diverse groups and backgrounds, which will help me develop team work management and communication skills.

Outside research, I am an adventurer and nature lover. I love to go to the mountains and do sightseeing. I like to do sports as well, specifically volleyball. I’m not that much good at it, but I enjoy it very much though.

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