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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.
Epitaxial films of strontium bismuth tantalate (SrBi2Ta2O9, SBT) and strontium bismuth niobate (SrBi2Nb2O9, SBN) were grown using solution deposition techniques on magnesium oxide (MgO) substrates buffered with a 100 nm layer of lanthanum manganate (LaMnO3, LMO). Film structure and texture analyses were carried out using x-ray diffraction. Theta-2theta diffraction patterns were consistent with a c-axis aligned structure for both the buffer layer and the solution deposited films. Theta-2 theta scans revealed (001)SBT, SBN //(001) LMO epitaxial relationships between the solution deposited films and the buffer layer. A pole figure about the SBT, SBN (115) reflection indicated a single in-plane epitaxy. Film quality was assessed using ω and φ scans. Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (13C) was used to characterized the methoxy-ethoxide solutions used for the deposition of the SBN and SBT films.
Technological applications of high temperature superconductors (HTS) require high critical current density, Jc, under operation at high magnetic field strengths. This requires effective flux pinning by introducing artificial defects through creative processing. In this work, we evaluated the feasibility of mixed-phase LaMnO3:MgO (LMO:MgO) films as a potential cap buffer layer for the epitaxial growth and enhanced performance of YBa2Cu3O7-δ (YBCO) films. Such composite films were sputter deposited directly on IBAD-MgO templates (with no additional homo-epitaxial MgO layer) and revealed the formation of two phase-separated, but at the same time vertically aligned, self-assembled composite nanostructures that extend throughout the entire thickness of the film. The YBCO coatings deposited on these nanostructured cap layers showed correlated c-axis pinning and improved in-field Jc performance compared to those of YBCO films fabricated on standard LMO buffers. Microstructural characterization revealed additional extended disorder in the YBCO matrix. The present results demonstrate the feasibility of novel and potentially practical approaches in the pursuit of more efficient, economical, and high performance superconducting devices.
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