updated 2/9/2011 6:45:24 AM ET 2011-02-09T11:45:24

SANTA BARBARA, Calif., Feb. 9, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Superconductor Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq:SCON) ("STI"), a world leader in the development and production of high temperature superconducting (HTS) materials and associated technologies, today announced cutting edge high-magnetic-field test results for its second generation (2G) HTS wire. In an ongoing collaborative research and development agreement (CRADA) with Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), STI and LANL produced a 2G HTS wire sample that demonstrates exceptional in-field critical current values. This world-class current-carrying capability in high magnetic field demonstrates the effectiveness of STI's HTS fabrication process at producing 2G HTS wire for demanding applications such as superconducting fault current limiters and high-power wind turbine generators.

STI produced a 2G HTS coated conductor sample on a LANL template that exhibits a minimum critical current of 228 amperes (A) at a temperature of 65 kelvin (K) in an applied magnetic field of 3 tesla (T), corresponding to 256 A per centimeter (cm)-width. This critical current is the minimum value as a function of magnetic field angle. The maximum critical current of this sample at 65 K exceeded 404 A per cm-width for a 3-T magnetic field oriented parallel to the coated conductor surface; this latter current value was limited by the amount of current supplied by the measurement apparatus. In a 5-T field at 65 K, the coated conductor exhibited a minimum critical current of 143 A per cm-width and a maximum critical current of 322 A per cm-width. The measurements were performed at LANL's Superconductivity Technology Center in Los Alamos, NM.

Dr. Brian Moeckly, Director of Materials Research and Development at STI, commented: "Achievement of this level of current-carrying capability in high magnetic field is a critical milestone in our development of 2G HTS wire. In addition, we fabricated this sample using a straightforward HTS structure; we did not need to add additional elements or so-called artificial pinning centers to the coated conductor to obtain this result. While these measurements were performed on a small sample, we believe that the outstanding properties of this wire can be maintained upon scale-up of our processes to long-length 2G HTS wire production."

Dr. Ken Marken, Superconductivity Technology Center Leader at LANL, added: "We are excited to verify these test results that confirm that STI's HTS deposition process produces 2G HTS wire with state-of-the-art superconducting properties."

STI's strategic 2G HTS wire program is utilizing its specialized HTS material deposition processes and volume manufacturing expertise to produce energy-efficient, cost-effective, and high-performance 2G HTS wire for next generation power applications. STI fabricates 2G HTS wire using its proprietary deposition technology known as reactive coevaporation with cyclic deposition and reaction (RCE-CDR). This specific sample of 2G HTS wire is 8.9 millimeters wide x 4.4 microns thick and was grown on a 1-cm-wide x 4-cm-long template provided by Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). This simplified template contained a reduced number of layers compared to competing 2G HTS wire technologies. The template consisted of a non-magnetic nickel-alloy substrate followed by layers of only two materials: a solution-deposition planarization (SDP) layer and an ion-beam assisted deposition (IBAD) layer. An advantage of the RCE-CDR technology is that it allows high-performance 2G HTS wire to be grown on these simplified templates. STI believes that this simplified template platform combined with STI's RCE-CDR process results in a superior high-yield, low-cost 2G HTS wire technology.

About Superconductor Technologies Inc. (STI)

Superconductor Technologies, Inc., headquartered in Santa Barbara, CA, has been a world leader in HTS materials since 1987, developing more than 100 patents as well as proprietary trade secrets and manufacturing expertise. For more than a decade, STI has been providing innovative interference elimination and network enhancement solutions to the commercial wireless industry. The company is currently leveraging its key enabling technologies, including RF filtering, HTS materials, and cryogenics to develop energy efficient, cost-effective and high performance second generation (2G) HTS wire for existing and emerging power applications, to develop applications for advanced RF wireless solutions and innovative adaptive filtering, and for government R&D. Superconductor Technologies, Inc.'s common stock is listed on the NASDAQ Capital Market under the ticker symbol SCON. For more information about STI, please visit http://www.suptech.com.

The Superconductor Technologies Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=3963

About Los Alamos National Laboratory (www.lanl.gov)

Los Alamos National Laboratory, a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security, is operated by Los Alamos National Security, LLC, a team composed of Bechtel National, the University of California, The Babcock & Wilcox Company, and URS for the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration.

Los Alamos enhances national security by ensuring the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, developing technologies to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction, and solving problems related to energy, environment, infrastructure, health, and global security concerns.

The LANL Superconductivity Technology Center (STC) coordinates a multidisciplinary program for research, development, and technology transfer in the area of high-temperature superconductivity. The focus of the STC is on effective collaborations with American industry, universities, and other national laboratories to develop electric power and electronic device applications of high-temperature superconductors.

For Los Alamos National Laboratory
James Rickman, LANL Communications Office
505-665-9203
jamesr@lanl.gov

Safe HarborStatement 

"Safe Harbor" statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this press release regarding our business that are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties, including without limitation, the risk that this offering will not close. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are inherently subject to uncertainties and other factors which could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements. These factors and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: our limited cash and a history of losses; the limited number of potential customers; the limited number of suppliers for some of our components; there being no significant backlog from quarter to quarter; our market being characterized by rapidly advancing technology; fluctuations in product demand from quarter to quarter; the impact of competitive filter products, technologies and pricing; manufacturing capacity constraints and difficulties; and local, regional, and national and international economic conditions and events and the impact they may have on us and our customers, such as the current worldwide recession.

Forward-looking statements can be affected by many other factors, including, those described in the "Business" and "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" sections of STI's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2009 and in STI's other public filings. These documents are available online at STI's website, www.suptech.com, or through the SEC's website, www.sec.gov. Forward-looking statements are based on information presently available to senior management, and STI has not assumed any duty to update any forward-looking statements.

Contact

For further information please contact Investor Relations, invest@suptech.com, Cathy Mattison or Mary Magnani of Lippert / Heilshorn & Associates, +1-415-433-3777, for Superconductor Technologies Inc.

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