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Staff Profile

Prof Damian Hampshire, D.Phil, F.Inst.P, FRAS

Personal web page

Professor in the Department of Physics
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 43654
Room number: 143
Member of the Durham X-ray Centre

(email at


i) External Responsibilities

Chairman of the International Programme Committee for the European Conference on Applied Superconductivity. EuCAS2019 - Glasgow 2019

Member of the International Programme Committee (Materials) for the European Conference on Applied Superconductivity. EuCAS2017 - Geneva 2017

Member of the International Advisory Committee for the International Conference on Superconductivity and Magnetism – ICMS2016, Fethiye, Turkey, April 2016.

Member of the International Advisory Committee Member for the Mechanical and Electromagnetic Properties of Composite Superconductors, - MEM16 Tallahassee, USA 2016.

Member of the Executive Council of the British Cryogenics Council. – BCC.

Chair (rolling) of the Institute of Physics, Fellow’s Appointing Committee –IOP Fellow’s Committee. 

ii) Responsibilities within department

I am Head of the Superconductivity Research Group and Director of the European Reference Laboratory for Fusion Energy

 iii) Teaching activity

Supervisor for 4 PhD research projects. Lecture course responsibilities are: delivering lectures, setting homework problems, coordinating example classes, setting and marking examinations. 2nd year: Electromagnetism - Maxwell's equations (~ 240 students).

Research Interests

 I) Experiments in high-magnetic-fields:

Members of the superconductivity group in Durham have published some of the most important JC(B,T,ε) data on superconducting materials and developed a new theoretical scaling law which successfully combines phenomenological and microscopic theory. The physical insights of this work have significantly contributed to the fusion energy programme. These data characterise the supercurrent density that a material can carry as a function of the magnetic-field, temperature and strain. 

We have a number of high field systems including a 15 Tesla Helmholtz-like split-pair horizontal superconducting magnet system which is unparalleled in the university sector world-wide. This has opened the exciting possibility of making JC(B,T,ε) measurements on anisotropic high temperature superconducting (HTS) materials - which is extremely valuable for developing our fundamental understanding and optimisation of new HTS technological applications.

For the best experiments, we combine world-class commercially available equipment (magnets, picovoltmeters,..) with probes that have been designed and built in-house. Commercial cryogenic equipment in-house includes two high-field magnet systems, a fully equipped PPMS system, a new high-pressure system and a He-3 system. The world-class high field facilities and instruments are supported by a number of specialist probes designed and built in-house for making strain, magnetic, resistive and optical measurements on superconductors. For example, the JC(B,T,ε) data were obtained using an instrument built in Durham for use in our 17 Tesla vertical magnet system and for use in international high-field facilities in Grenoble, France. 

X-ray diffraction spectra and resistivity of conventional and nanocrystalline niobium

 II) Fabricating high - field nanocrystalline superconductors:

Members of the superconductivity group in Durham pioneered the discovery of a new class of nanocrystalline superconductivity materials with exceptionally good tolerance to high magnetic field. These materials provide a new paradigm for high-field conductors which has been patented and then published in the premier Physics journals. Equipment in-house includes DSC, DTA, XRD, glove box, a range of milling machines and furnaces as well a HIP operating at pressures of 2000 atmospheres and up to 2000 C. The upper critical field in Chevrel phase superconducting materials was increased from 60 T (Tesla) to more than 100 T and in elemental niobium from ~ 1 T to ~ 3 T. This work involves fundamental and applied scientific investigations into nanocrystalline high-field materials where the important length scales for superconductivity are similar to the length scales for the microstructure and is focussed on fabricating and understanding the physics of this new class of high magnetic field superconductors.

 III) Empirical, computational and theoretical understanding of superconductors:

The boundaries between the best experiments, analysis and theoretical understanding and advanced computation are increasingly blurred. In addition to experimental work that includes advanced analysis, we have completed computation that provides the first reliable visualisation of how time-dependant-Ginzburg-Landau theory predicts flux moves in polycrystalline materials. This allows us to address why the critical current density in state-of-the-art commercial materials is still 3 orders of magnitude below the theoretical limit.

Flux flow:

The ITER fusion reactor being built in Cadarache, France:

 IV) The ITER fusion tokamak - Fusion Energy: 

Superconductivity is the enabling technology for the $10B ITER (Fusion tokamak) project that the Department of Energy in the USA concluded is the most important large scale project in the world during the next 20 years. About one third of the cost is the superconducting magnets that will hold the burning plasma scheduled to ignite in 2018. The DOE in the USA concluded that ITER was the USA's first priority facility over the next 20 years: About one third of the cost is the superconducting magnets that hold the burning plasma. The first plasma is planned to ignite in 2018 The ITER project will be followed by the DEMO project that will provide 2 GW to the Japanese national grid The roadmap to magnetic confinement. The group has membership of the European magnet experts panel Durham Energy Institute: Fusion energy - science and technology.

Durham has secured the contract for the 'European Reference Laboratory - Metrology of Superconducting Materials'. We are measuring some of the materials for the toroidal field coils that will be used in the ITER tokamak. 

  V) Energy Transmission and Transport:

Management of energy resources will be one of critical issues in the C21st.  Superconductivity will have an important contribution to make to the development of new technologies.  Durham university is ideally positioned to play a key role in this area. 

American Superconductor -

Renewable Energy Focus, 2009 - Superconductors and power transmission.pdf 

Maglev train in Japan:

  VI) Energy - High field magnets and medical (MRI):

There is a industrial need for superconducting materials that carry higher critical current in high magnetic fields to reduce cost.  Applications include high-field research magnetic for accelerators such as LHC and MRI medical body scanners where higher magnetic fields equate to better resolution. 

MRI body scanner – similar to the one found for example in the hospital in Durham, UK.

Research Groups

Centre for Materials Physics

  • Superconductivity

Department of Physics

Selected Publications

Journal Article

  • Greenwood, Jack R., Surrey, Elizabeth & Hampshire, Damian P. (2018). Biaxial Strain Measurements of Jc on a (RE)BCO Coated Conductor. IEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity 28(4): 8400705, 1.
  • Wang, Guanmei, Raine, Mark J. & Hampshire, Damian P. (2018). The Cause of ‘Weak-Link’ Grain Boundary Behaviour in Polycrystalline Bi2Sr2CaCu2O8 and Bi2Sr2Ca2Cu3O10 Superconductors. Superconductor Science and Technology 31(2): 024001.
  • Wang, Guanmei, Raine, Mark J. & Hampshire, Damian P. (2017). How Resistive Must Grain Boundaries in Polycrystalline Superconductors be, to Limit J_c? Superconductor Science and Technology 30(10): 104001.
  • Ghoshal, P. K., Fair, R. J., Hampshire, D. P., Hagen-Gates, V., Kashy, D., Legg, R., Renuka-Ghoshal, R. & Tsui, Y. (2016). Design and Evaluation of Joint Resistance in SSC Rutherford-Type Cable Splices for Torus Magnet for the Jefferson Lab 12-GeV Upgrade. IEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity 26(4): 4800304.
  • Boutboul, T., Abaecherli, V., Berger, G., Hampshire, D. P., Parrell, J., Raine, M. J., Readman, P., Sailer, B., Schlenga, K., Thoener, M., Viladiu, E. & Zhang, Y. (2016). European Nb3Sn Superconducting Strand Production and Characterization for ITER TF Coil Conductor. IEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity 26(4): 6000604.
  • Osamura, K., Machiya, S. & Hampshire, D. P. (2016). Mechanism for the uniaxial strain dependence of the critical current in practical REBCO tapes. Superconductor Science and Technology 29(6): 065019.
  • Hu, D., Ainslie, M. D., Raine, M. J., Hampshire, D. P. & Zou, J. (2016). Modelling and comparison of in-field critical current density anisotropy in high temperature superconducting (HTS) coated conductors. IEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity 26(3): 6600906.
  • Tsui, Y., Surrey, E. & Hampshire, D.P. (2016). Soldered joints—an essential component of demountable high temperature superconducting fusion magnets. Superconductor Science and Technology 29(7): 075005.
  • Tsui, Y., Mahmoud, R., Surrey, E. & Hampshire, D. P. (2016). Superconducting and Mechanical Properties of Low-Temperature Solders for Joints. IEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity 26(3): 6900204.
  • Hu, D., Ainslie, M. D., Rush, J. P., Durrell1, J. H., Zou, J., Raine, M. J. & Hampshire, D. P. (2015). DC characterization and 3D modelling of a triangular, epoxy-impregnated high temperature superconducting coil. Superconductor Science and Technology 28(6): 065001.
  • Sunwong, P., Higgins, J.S. & Hampshire, D.P. (2014). Probes for investigating the effect of magnetic field, field orientation, temperature and strain on the critical current density of anisotropic high-temperature superconducting tapes in a split-pair 15 T horizontal magnet. Review of Scientific Instruments 85(6): 065111.
  • Osamura, K., Machiya, S., Hampshire, D. P., Toshinori, T., Shobu, T., Kajiwarta, K, Osabe, G, Yamazaki, K, Yamada, Y & Fujikami, J (2014). Uniaxial strain dependence of the critical current of Di-BSCCO tapes. Superconductor Science and Technology 27(8): 085005.
  • Carty, G.J. & Hampshire, D.P. (2013). The critical current density of an SNS Josephson-junction in high magnetic fields. Superconductor Science and Technology 26(6): 065007.
  • Sunwong, P., Higgins, J.S., Tsui, Y., Raine, M.J. & Hampshire, D.P. (2013). The critical current density of grain boundary channels in polycrystalline HTS and LTS superconductors in magnetic fields. Superconductor Science and Technology 26(9): 095006.
  • Sunwong, P., Higgins, J.S. & Hampshire, D.P. (2011). Angular, Temperature, and Strain Dependencies of the Critical Current of DI-BSCCO Tapes in High Magnetic Fields. IEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity 21(3): 2840-2844.
  • Raine, M.J. & Hampshire, D.P. (2011). Characterization of the Low Temperature Superconductor Niobium Carbonitride. IEEE Transactions On Applied Superconductivity 21(3): 3138-3141.
  • Higgins, J.S. & Hampshire, D.P. (2011). Critical Current Density of YBa2Cu3O7-delta Coated Conductors Under High Compression in High Fields. IEEE Transactions On Applied Superconductivity 21(3): 3234-3237.
  • Lu, XF & Hampshire, DP (2010). The field, temperature and strain dependence of the critical current density of a powder-in-tube Nb3Sn superconducting strand. Superconductor Science & Technology 23(2): 025002
  • Taylor, DMJ, Al-Jawad, M & Hampshire, DP (2008). A new paradigm for fabricating bulk high-field superconductors. Superconductor Science & Technology 21(12): 125006.
  • Carty, GJ & Hampshire, DP (2008). Visualizing the mechanism that determines the critical current density in polycrystalline superconductors using time-dependent Ginzburg-Landau theory. Physical Review B 77(17): 172501.
  • Lu, XF, Pragnell, S & Hampshire, DP (2007). Small reversible axial-strain window for the critical current of a high performance Nb3Sn superconducting strand. Applied Physics Letters 91(13): 3.
  • Carty, GJ, Machida, M & Hampshire, DP (2005). Numerical studies on the effect of normal-metal coatings on the magnetization characteristics of type-II superconductors. Physical Review B 71(14): 9.
  • Taylor, DMJ & Hampshire, DP (2005). The scaling law for the strain dependence of the critical current density in Nb3Sn superconducting wires. Superconductor Science & Technology 18(12): S241-S252.
  • Keys, SA & Hampshire, DP (2003). A scaling law for the critical current density of weakly- and strongly-coupled superconductors, used to parameterize data from a technological Nb3Sn strand. Superconductor Science & Technology 16(9): 1097-1108.
  • Leigh, NR & Hampshire, DP (2003). Deriving the Ginzburg-Landau parameter from heat-capacity data on magnetic superconductors with Schottky anomalies. Physical Review B 68(17): 4.
  • Niu, HJ & Hampshire, DP (2003). Disordered nanocrystalline superconducting PbMo6S8 with a very large upper critical field. Physical Review Letters 91(2): 4.
  • Sneary, AB, Friend, CM & Hampshire, DP (2001). Design, fabrication and performance of a 1.29 T Bi-2223 magnet. Superconductor Science & Technology 14(7): 433-443.
  • Cheggour, N & Hampshire, DP (2000). A probe for investigating the effects of temperature, strain, and magnetic field on transport critical currents in superconducting wires and tapes. Review Of Scientific Instruments 71(12): 4521-4530.
  • Daniel, IJ & Hampshire, DP (2000). Harmonic calculations and measurements of the irreversibility field using a vibrating sample magnetometer. Physical Review B 61(10): 6982-6993.
  • Friend, CM, Tenbrink, J & Hampshire, DP (1996). Critical current density of Bi2Sr2Ca1Cu2O delta monocore and multifilamentary wires from 4.2 K up to Tc in high magnetic fields. Physica C 258(3-4): 213-221.
  • Ramsbottom, HD & Hampshire, DP (1995). A probe for measuring magnetic-field profiles inside superconductors from 4.2 K to Tc in high magnetic fields. Measurement Science & Technology 6(9): 1349-1355.
  • Zheng, DN, Ramsbottom, HD & Hampshire, DP (1995). Reversible and irreversible magnetization of the Chevrel-phase superconductor PBMO6S8. Physical Review B 52(17): 12931-12938.

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Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Physics:
  • Condensed Matter Physics:
  • Condensed Matter Physics: High magnetic fields
  • Condensed Matter Physics: fusion energy
  • Condensed Matter Physics: MRI body scanners