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Preparation of a-axis YBa2Cu3Ox epitaxial films using direct current-95 MHz hybrid plasma sputtering

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 March 2011

Wataru Ito
Superconductivity Research Laboratory, ISTEC, 10-13 Shinonome 1 chome, Koto-Ku, Tokyo 135, Japan
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The dc-95 MHz hybrid plasma magnetron sputtering has been newly developed for obtaining a-axis oriented YBa2Cu3Ox (YBCO) films with an excellent crystallinity. The crystallinity was found to be the best among the films reported so far: the full width at half maximum value of 0.027°in the rocking curve measurement through the film (200) diffraction peak and Xmin of 2% estimated from the barium signal behind the surface peak in Rutherford backscattering (RBS) measurement using a 1 MeV He+ ion. The success in the excellent crystallinity was explained from the ion acceleration model at the ion sheath formed near the substrate surface considering the high ion density, which was revealed to be a characteristic of hybrid plasma. Almost perfect epitaxial growth was also confirmed by transmission electron microscopy. A characteristic grain boundary structure depending on the substrate was observed for the films on NdGaO3 and SrTiO3 substrates. Twist boundary is dominant for the film on NdGaO3, while symmetrical tilt boundary and basal-plane-faced tilt boundary exclusively exist for the film on SrTiO3. The microstructure of the film on SrTiO3 is very resistive against film relaxation. Strain relief was observed by RBS channeling spectra for the relatively high superconducting films. The results of Raman spectroscopy and RBS oxygen resonant measurements indicated that the oxygen content is not a critical parameter for determining the superconductivity of the a-axis oriented YBCO films, but oxygen ordering in the plane of the Cu-O chain and relief of the film strain are important for the improvement of Tc.

Copyright © Materials Research Society 1995

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