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Methods for characterizing the interface of conductive polymer/high-Tc superconductor sandwich structures are reported. Electrochemical procedures, such as cyclic voltammetry and chronoamperometry, are utilized to deposit conductive polymers directly onto bulk ceramic and thin film samples of YBa2Cu3O7-δ. Moreover, similar methods are utilized to cycle the polymer structures between their neutral (non-conductive) and oxidized (conductive) forms. Through changes in the polymer doping level, the superconducting properties of the high-Tc component can be modulated in a controllable and reproducible fashion. This paper focuses on an analysis of conductive polymer/superconductor interface phenomena as explored by electrochemical, resistivity vs. temperature and contact resistance measurements.
The preparation and characterization of a new generation of optical sensors fabricated from high-temperature superconductor (HTSC) thin films is reported herein. These new hybrid devices are prepared using HTSC thin films which are coated with organic dye overlayers. These systems have been shown to respond selectively to those wavelengths which are absorbed strongly by the molecular dye. Methods for fabricating the superconductor element and depositing the dye layer are discussed. Moreover, scanning electron microscopy and resistivity versus temperature measurements are utilized to characterize these hybrid structures.
Electrochemical techniques are exploited to fabricate conductive polymer/high-Tcsuperconductor sandwich structures. In such hybrid polymer/superconductor systems, it is found that when the polymer is oxidized to its conductive state, the transition temperature (Tc) and critical current (Jc) of the underlying superconductor film are suppressed. Reversible Modulations in the values of the transition temperatures up to 50 K are noted for these structures. Upon reduction of the conductive polymer layer back to its non-conductive form, Tc is found to return to values close to those acquired for the underivatized YBa2Cu3O7-δ film. Thus, the principle of a Molecular/superconductor switch for controlling superconductivity is demonstrated.
The preparation of a hybrid conducting polymer/high-temperature superconductor device consisting of a polypyrrole coated YBa2Cu3O7-δ microbridge is reported. Electrochemical techniques are exploited to alter the oxidation state of the polymer and, in doing so, it is found for the first time that superconductivity can be modulated in a controllable and reproducible fashion by a polymer layer. Whereas the neutral (insulating) polypyrrole only slightly influences the electrical properties of the underlying YBa2Cu3O7-δ film, the oxidized (conductive) polymer depresses Tc by up to 15K. Thus, a new type of molecular switch for controlling superconductivity is demonstrated.
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