It was 100 years ago when Heike Kamerlingh Onnes  stumbled upon Superconductivity when checking the resistance of  Mercury  at a very low temperature.  Here’s a free-to-access article (until this month only) on Physics Today on the history of superconductivity.

In the Islands, Superconductivity research started only in 1987 as a playful and curiosity-based inquiry on high temperature superconductors at the National Institute of Physics.

A makeshift station was set up at the corridors of the Llamas Science Hall consisting of a borrowed electric furnace, a loaned grinding set, a few grams of chemicals and a thermos flask of liquid nitrogen[1].

It will take some more years to establish a formal research group which deals specifically with issues on superconductivity.  In 1991, the Superconductivity group of the Condensed Matter Physics Laboratory was established [1].

Perhaps the first publication that came out from the Islands on superconductivity is the paper by K.D. Develos, A.B. Villaflor, and R.V. Sarmago on denitration treatment of a ceramic superconductor.

Effect of  post combustion denitration treatment in Pb-Bi-Sr-Ca-Cu-O ceramic superconductors
Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 34 (1995) 488
DOI: 10.1143/JJAP.34.488

Lead-substituted Bi-Sr-Ca-Cu-O ceramic superconductors were prepared using the combustion method. Differential thermal analysis (DTA) of the post combusted powder showed the presence of residual nitrates. Subsequent modifications to effectively reduce the amount of nitrates required the prolonged exposure of the combustion product to further heat treatment. The denitration treatment was found to raise the volume fraction of the 2223 phase in the samples, but also lowered the T-C(onset) values when performed at higher temperatures.

Develos, KD, Univ Philippines, Natl Inst Phys, Phys Mat Lab, Diliman 1101
Quezon City, Philippines

By the way have you noticed anything about the author’s address? It was still Materials Physics Laboratory. Until now, I still call the CMPL as the MatSci lab.

On my next blog post on the celebration of superconductivity, I will write about the most cited paper on superconductivity from the Islands.

[1] NIP website last accessed April 15, 2011.