US scientists have embarked on a project to build a $11.7m 'mega magnet' that could revolutionise molecular science.
The magnet will generate extremely powerful magnetic fields using just one-third the power of traditional 'all-resistive' magnets, enabling unique experiments to be conducted at the Florida facility.
It will be used primarily for nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) to study proteins, nucleic acids, catalysts, conductors and semiconductors.
According to the researchers, a key advantage of the new hybrid resistive and superconducting magnet is that it will allow experiments to be performed at lower cost and for longer periods than would be the case using existing all-resistive magnets.
Resistive magnets require electricity and cooled water to function, while superconducting magnets require little or no electrical power once they are brought up to full field.
A large part of the grant will be used to develop the sophisticated instrumentation and probes required for NMR science.
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