Michael Sumption

Professor - MSE

Mike Sumption received his PhD in condensed matter physics in 1992 from Ohio University while working in Battelle's Advanced Materials Department. He then formally joined Battelle, where he worked in the advanced materials, and subsequently engineering mechanics, departments. In 1995, he joined Ohio State University's Material Science and Engineering department, where he was first Sr. Research Associate, Adjunct Professor, and then Professor, and serves as the associate director of the Center for Superconducting and Magnetic Materials, as well as the Superconducting Technology Center. Dr. Sumption’s background is in materials science and solid state physics. His area of research is materials physics with a concentration in superconductive, electronic, and magnetic materials, with particular interests in (i) MgB2 materials, with a focus on formation as well as dopant-induced enhancements of the upper critical fields and the related structural and transport properties, (ii) phase formation and diffusion in the A15 system, (iii) nanoscale artificial pin structures in multilayer YBCO, (iv) the current limiting mechanisms in superconducting strands, (v) flux pinning and connectivity in Nb3Sn and MgB2, (vi) the study of energy loss due to flux motion in superconducting materials and the influence of composite structure, and (vii) energy related electronic materials and applications.

Beyond these areas, Dr. Sumption’s broad range of research interests have included a variety of topics, as represented below in graduate student theses, including (i) ternary and quaternary substitutions in the A15 structure of Nb3Sn and its effects on structure and properties, (ii) determination of the Nb-Al equilibrium phase diagram in the composition range 0-30 at.%Al in the vicinity of the liquidus, and (iii) FEM modeling of the hydrostastic extrusion and deformation of multi-element composites. As described below these studies typically rely on both microstructural and microchemical studies as well as electronic and magnetic properties characterization.

Mike Sumption has studied a wide variety of materials in film, bulk, and wire form, including low Tc superconductors; NbTi, Nb3Sn, Nb3Al, NbTiTa, high Tc superconductors; YBCO, Bi, and Tl-compounds, and intermediate Tc materials; MgB2 and the oxypnictides. Low temperature electronic, magnetic, and superconducting property measurements are a strong focus of the work. This, coupled with structural and compositional studies (SEM/TEM, XRD) enable vital structure-to-properties correlations. Efforts in modelling have included stability in Nb3Sn conductors and magnets, anisotropic continuum modeling of bridging and connectivity in superconducting composite structures, field modelling in coils, synergistic pinning in composites, AC loss in various conductors, and fault current limiter design. Materials studies have included rapid quenching and mechanical alloying in Nb3Al, proximity effects in NbTi, pinning and connectivity in MgB2, and the development of a new class of Nb3Sn strands.

Dr. Sumption’s research has been funded by various organizations, including the US Department of Energy, Division of High Energy Physics, NASA, the Navy, AFOSR, NIH, NRC, the Ohio Department of Development, and private industry. A number of national and international collaborations are ongoing, with universities, national labs, and industry. Dr. Sumption more than 225 publications, and serves on the editorial board of Superconducting Science and Technology and Cryogenics.

  • M.S. in Physics, Ohio University
  • Ph.D. in Physics, Ohio University
  • B.S. in Physics, The Ohio State University

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