Research database

SUPERNEON - Studio del danno da neutroni nei superconduttori ad alta temperatura per i reattori a fusione compatti

36 months (2023 - 2025)
Principal investigator(s):
Project type:
National Research
Funding body:
Project identification number:
PoliTo role:
Sole Contractor


The key enabling technology for the development of compact fusion reactor is that of High-Temperature Superconducting (HTS) tapes, which are capable of generating the high magnetic fields necessary for the development of compact fusion reactors. One of the greatest challenges still to be faced is the evaluation and optimization of radiation hardness of HTS tapes that will have to withstand a high flux of high-energy neutrons. This extreme radiation environment makes it impossible to experimentally test the materials at the working conditions with existing facilities, making it mandatory to combine irradiation experiments with a thorough modeling of the radiation damage process. The US team works at the MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center, one of the leaders in high-field HTS magnets for compact thermonuclear fusion reactors, and is presently deploying novel experiments to perform cryogenic neutron and proton irradiation of HTS tapes under high-fidelity environmental conditions to a working HTS magnet. The Italian team has a long experience on performing and modeling the ion irradiation of superconductors to investigate the consequent structural modifications and their impact on their electromagnetic properties down to the nano- and micro-scale. The collaboration of the two units within this project is pivotal to combine the complementary expertise on experimental activities (USA+ITA) and computational investigations of the irradiation process (ITA) to achieve a comprehensive understanding of the radiation damage effects on HTS tapes needed to overcome the issues of HTS radiation resistance in compact fusion reactors. Researchers’ mobility in this context is crucial and would boost the career of young researchers in both institutions. This initiative has a high potential industrial impact, since the HTS technology for compact fusion reactors is deemed of strategic interest by companies (both in Italy and US) investing in the field of future sustainable energy.

People involved



ERC sectors

PE3_3 - Transport properties of condensed matter
PE3_9 - Condensed matter – beam interactions (photons, electrons, etc.)

Sustainable Development Goals

Obiettivo 7. Assicurare a tutti l’accesso a sistemi di energia economici, affidabili, sostenibili e moderni


Total cost: € 300,000.00
Total contribution: € 150,000.00
PoliTo total cost: € 300,000.00
PoliTo contribution: € 150,000.00