Seeking the interference-invulnerable current sensor
What is it about?
Electric power transmission companies always look for better means of controlling and delivering electricity through the existing grid. This paper deals with a transparent magnetic nanomaterial suitable for current sensors that could replace the existing ones monitoring electrical grids.
Why is it important?
The scientific literature about silica/iron oxide nanocomposites is plenty of research reporting on their magnetic properties, but those dealing with their applications in magneto-optics are much less numerous. One of the main reasons for this is the difficulty in producing fully functional monolithic composites, the form under which their magneto-optical properties would be usable in technological applications. Sol-gel based methods were considered as a suitable solution for this problem, but the mechanical properties and phase distribution of the as-prepared materials were far from the initial expectations. After four years of research in this particular matter, we succeeded in demonstrating that a washing treatment with ethanol during the sol-gel processing of iron oxide/silica nanocomposites prevents the formation of undesired phases as well as an excessive particle agglomeration. More distinctly, different processing conditions of identical sols may lead to nanocomposites with a Verdet constant similar to that of commercial terbium gallium garnets used in Faraday rotators. Although having a similar performance than the currently chosen materials, the cost reduction introduced by replacing those with the silica-based ones is formidable, and hence the importance of this particular publication.
The following have contributed to this page: Dr Daniel Ortega