In 2008 the group of Prof. Hosono discovered the superconductivity in a new compound containing FeAs planes, thus opening the age of Fe-based superconductors (FeSC). Several different phases were rapidly discovered and today the FeSCs show the second high Tc behind the high-Tc superconductors (HTSC) and very high critical fields. These characteristics suggested that FeSCs can be candidates for power application.
However, as the recent story of HTSC taught us, the discovery of new superconductors always rises euphoric perspectives concerning their applications, but there are many issues to overcome before actual devices are fabricated. Therefore, within SUPER-IRON we depict the roadmap for exploring and exploiting the potentialities of FeSCs: 1) understanding the fundamental mechanisms of superconductivity and their implication, 2) control material quality, 3) manipulate superconducting properties, 4) assess the potential of FeSCs with respect to other superconductors, 5) identify application fields, where FeSCs lead to a step-like change with respect to the current state of the art. To cover this road SUPER-IRON has joined the efforts of the leader groups involved in the investigation of FeSCs throughout EU and Japan.
Different phases of FeSCs and also the new pnictide oxides SC, in form of single crystals, polycrystals, thin films, tapes and wires will be realized by using different synthesis methods. Superconducting properties will be investigated also under high magnetic field and/or pressure and visualization of local electric field and current will be carried out with sophisticated techniques. This wide variety of experimental activities will be supported by an intense theoretical work including ab-initio calculations and theoretical modelling. The achievement of the planned objectives through synergic and coordinated activities and the sharing of knowledge and tools will set the basis for future collaborations between Japan and EU.