Published online by Cambridge University Press: 18 March 2011
A low-cost, non-vacuum reel-to reel dip-coating system has been used to continuously fabricate epitaxial Gd2O3 buffer layers on mechanically strengthened, biaxially textured Ni- (3at.%W-1.7at%Fe), defined as Ni-alloy, metal tapes. X-ray diffraction analysis of the seed Gd2O3 layers indicated that well textured films can be obtained at processing temperatures (Tp) between 1100 and 1175°C. Processing speed did not significantly affect the crystalline quality of the Gd2O3. Scanning electron microscopy revealed a continuous, dense and crack-free surface morphology for these dip-coated buffers. The Gd2O3 layer thickness led to remarkable differences in the growth characteristics of the subsequent YSZ and CeO2 layers deposited by rfmagnetron sputtering. Epitaxial YBCO films grown by pulsed laser deposition on the short prototype CeO2/YSZ/Gd2O3/Ni-(3at%W-1.7at%Fe) conductors yielded self-field critical current densities (Jc) as high as 1.2×106 A/cm2 at 77 K. Pure Ni tapes were used to asses the viability of dip-coated buffers for long length coated conductor fabrication. The YBCO films, grown on 80 cm long and 1 cm wide CeO2/YSZ/Gd2O3 buffered Ni tapes by the industrially scalable ex-situ BaF2 precursor process, exhibited end-to-end self-field Jc of 6.25×105 A/cm2 at 77 K.
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