Professor Seungyong Han, selected as Top 10 Breakthrough for 2019 by Physics World

2019-12-23l Hit 154

  • -Paradigm shift in generating ultra-high magnetic field using superconductivity

▲  Professor Seungyong Han, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering SNU

A research accomplishment of domestic researchers got selected as the Top 10 Breakthrough for 2019 by Physics World.

SNU College of Engineering revealed that the research work of professor Seungyong Han from Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, which successfully generated 45.5 Tesla (1 Tesla = twice the magnetic field of the earth) using no insulation superconductor insert magnets, was chosen as the Top 10 Breakthrough for 2019 hosted by Physics World under Institute of Physics (IOP). The research was a joint work with the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory of the United States and was published in the June edition of Nature with Professor Han as the first author.

Until now, maintaining the safety level of operating superconductive magnets in accidents that might occur during research that uses them was the biggest unsolved problem. Professor Seungyong Han proposed a No-Insulation High-Temperature Superconductor Magnet technology for the first time in the world which purposely removes the electrical insulation which was considered essential in conventional superconductor magnets. This allows the accidentally generated electrical current to automatically bypass to healthy superconductor regions to protect superconductor magnets when accidents happen while operating them. The safety level of operating superconductor magnets could be impressively improved and the size of the magnets could be miniaturized. It is recognized to have brought a paradigm shift in the manufacturing of superconductor magnets.


Compared to the fact that conventional magnet, which holds the world record of 44.8T, is 35 tons, when the no-insulation high-temperature superconductor technology is applied, the weight of the magnet can be reduced by 1/100. This can effectively reduce the manufacturing and operating cost of superconductor magnets and can furthermore dramatically improve the performances of various electronics using superconductivity which was hard to realize with conventional technologies.


Institute of Physics (IOP) is a renowned non-profit research organization which was founded in 1874 in London, England. It has more than 50,000 regular members and publishes more than 70 academic journals. As part of IOP, Physics World is an academic journal specializing in Physics and is published every month to be distributed to all the regular members of IOP. Physics World has been nominating “Top 10 Breakthroughs of the Year” every year since 2009.


Professor Han said, “No-Insulation Superconductor Magnets are rapidly applied to various fields such as MRI, cancer treatments, renewable energy, and electronic propulsion. In particular, a startup company from MIT called Commonwealth Fusion System (CFS), which successfully received large-scale funding of 115 billion won in 2018, uses this technology as a key component in their next-generation miniature nuclear fusion device that they are working on. The superconductive miniature nuclear fusion device of MIT-CFS was recognized by Bill Gates and MIT Technology Review in the Top 10 Breakthrough Technologies in 2019.”


Professor Han is continuously working on No-Insulation High-Temperature Superconductor Magnets funded by Samsung Research Funding & Incubation Center for Future Technology, National Research Foundation and National Science Foundation of the United States.


Logo of Top 10 Breakthrough for 2019 by Physics World (top). No-insulation high-temperature superconductor insert magnet(a.k.a: “Little Big Coil (LBC)”), which generates world record of 45.5 T direct current, developed by research team of professor Han (bottom).


Translated by Kyungjin Lee, English Editor of Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering,