Alice MOROS
About

Currently enrolled as a PhD Student at TU Wien – USTEM (University service centre for Transmission Electron Microscopy) and early-stage researcher of the MSCA EASITrain network. Genious passion about communicating her work and trying to inspire others (especially more women) to join STEM. She also loves travelling as a way of deepening her knowledge about new cultures and creating professional networks around the globe. 

 

 

Experience
Feb 2017 - Oct 2017
Stage - Seller
Zwick Roell Italia S.r.l. (Genova)
  • Support for Technical Sales Engineers
Sep 2011 - Oct 2017
Hostess
Genoa, Venice and Rome
  • Welcome service at Luigi Ferraris Stadium (Genoa)
  • Collaboration with "Mercury" during the "Salone Nautico" event in Genoa
  • Meeting planner during several B2B events
Sep 2016 - Dec 2016
MSc Thesis Project
Elettra Sincrotrone Trieste
  • Collaboration with the research group of XAFS (X-Ray Absorption Fine Structure)
Expertise
Critical thinking
Critical thinking
Network
Network
Presentation
Presentation
Project management
Project management
Software
Software
Education
Sep 2014 - Jan 2017
MSc in Materials Science and Engineering
Università degli Studi di Genova
  • Solid state physics
  • Nanostructures
  • Polymers for electronics
  • Composite materials
Sep 2011 - Dec 2014
BSc in Materials Science
Università degli studi di Genova
  • General and inorganic chemistry
  • Science and technology of polymeric materials
  • Laboratory experience (chemistry and materials science)
Work on project

Characterizing the structure at micro- and nanoscale level of different superconductors that can be used also for next-generation particle accelerators. Microstructural investigation represents an important tool for understanding how the materials superconducting properties can be enhanced, in order to exploit them for future applications.

 

 

What is the main topic of our research?

Electron microscopy, the science allowing the material microstructural analysis, plays a fundamental role in terms of studying the material intrinsic and extrinsic attributes for understanding its superconducting behavior. Since the superconducting specimens come from a different manufacturing process, a key point in my work is to understand how the parameters involved in such processes influence the material microstructural features and thus the superconducting properties.

By connecting my studies on materials microstructure with the magnetic and superconducting characterization (performed at TU Wien – Atominstitut) is therefore possible to give the manufactures a great contribution in terms of producing wires, tapes and thin films with enhanced superconducting performance. For the material microstructural characterization,

 

 
Which are the main techniques that you are using for your research?

I amm employing electron microscopes, instruments that use accelerated electrons under vacuum conditions in order to generate highly magnified images of specimens. In particular, I am dealing with two types of instrument: scanning electron microscope (SEM) and transmission electron microscope (TEM). The first type of instrument provides information from the surface of a sample: in fact, electrons scattered by or emitted from its surface are used for image generation. In TEMs the electrons pass through a very thin sample and produce an image from the sample volume on a screen or camera beneath the sample. 

Since these microscopes are equipped with attachments such as X-ray detectors (both SEM and TEM) or energy filters (TEM), they provide element-specific information from the sample and are used for chemical microanalysis. In my work I am principally characterizing the microstructure of the low-temperature superconductor Niobium tin (Nb3Sn) and of the thalium-based high-temperature superconductor (Tl-1223), envisioned candidates respectively for the FCC bending magnets and the FCC beam screens.

 

 

 

 

 
 
Which are the latest results of your research?

Today, Niobium tin (Nb3Sn) represents the best candidate for the construction of dipole magnets providing a Jc of 1.5 kA/mm2 at 16 T and 4.2 K. In that context, a new cluster layout (2) of prototype internal tin Nb3Sn wires was analyzed and compared to a standard layout (1) produced by the same manufacturer with the same heat treatment. The main reason for dividing the sub-element into clusters is reducing the “effective” sub-element size (deff ).

Schematic of cluster layout before heat treatment

As the homogeneity in Sn concentration influences the wire superconducting properties, the effect of the cluster layout on the Sn concentration gradient all over the wire cross section was evaluated by employing energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) spectroscopy with SEM. For each wire, EDX line scans were performed along the radial direction, from the Nb barrier to the Cu-Sn core. In particular, a statistical analysis was carried out by acquiring and evaluating the EDX data of several sub-elements.

Barrier
It was found that the Sn concentration is more homogeneous in the cluster layout. In fact, the Sn gradient is reduced by a factor of 1.6 with respect to the standard sample. The sub-element with clusters seems therefore to have a great potential in terms of producing wires with higher homogeneity, thing that can help obtaining better performance. These results demonstrate that other possible cluster configurations can lead to further improvements towards reaching the FCC target.
 
It was observed that the Sn concentration is more homogeneous in the cluster layout: in fact, the Sn gradient is reduced by a factor of 1.6 with respect to the standard sample. The sub-element with clusters seems therefore to have a great potential in terms of producing wires with higher homogeneity, thing that can help obtaining better performance. These results demonstrate that other possible cluster configurations can lead to further improvements towards reaching the FCC target.
 
Cuprates Tl-1223 represent a good candidate for the FCC beam screen, which will have to cope with the unprecedented amounts of synchrotron radiation at a 100 TeV energy-frontier collider This beam screen would be kept at 50 K for cryogenic efficiency. We propose Tl-1223 as beam screen coating since YBCO, the other possible candidate, is expensive and has a complex preparation on large scale. We receive thin film samples from our colleagues at CNR SPIN in Genoa, who are producing the specimens by electrochemical deposition. The Tl-1223 film is deposited onto Ag and SrTiO3 substrates.
 
Tl-1223 film deposited on superconducting substrates
The above pictures show examples related to films deposited on Ag. The first samples received (see picture 1) were observed with the SEM and the phase formation was investigated by SEM-EDX. The Ag substrate was still well visible and together with Tl-1223 we also found the phase Tl-1212, which is energetically more favourable. In the last films received, which were obtained changing some parameters of the manufacturing process, a better coverage of the substrate was observed. Furthermore, most of the grains show the desired Tl-1223 phase: this is a step forward in the optimization of the deposition process. For samples with substrates fully and uniformly covered, the idea is to study the grain boundaries misalignment with both SEM and TEM and understand how it influences the Jc.
 
These results were obtained thanks to my collaboration with my colleagues at Atominstitute working on the magnetic and superconducting characterization of the described samples and of course thanks to the infrastructure offered by the laboratory. 
 
 
 
Which are the possible applications of your research?

Such studies can benefit both physics and the industry. Comparing the materials magnetic response according to their microstructure allows to understand which microstructural features can lead to better superconducting properties.

Therefore we could gain a deeper understanding of the physics of superconductivity in these materials and their behaviour, but also to improvements in the manufacturing processes. This work could prove the suitability of specific superconducting materials for the FCC components, also getting to know better the physics behind still technologically unexploited systems such as high-temperature superconductors. Finally, for widely spread superconductors like Nb3Sn, the assessment of their improved performance would be decisive in the material choice for next generation MRI medical imaging and NMR devices.