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Chemical solution processing of Gd2Zr2O7 (GZO) thin films via sol-gel and metalorganic decomposition (MOD) precursor routes have been studied on textured Ni-based tape substrates. Even though films processed by both techniques showed similar property characteristics, the MOD-derived samples developed a high degree of texture alignment at significantly lower temperatures. Both precursor chemistries resulted in exceptionally dense, pore-free, and smooth microstructures, reflected in the cross-sectional and plan-view high-resolution scanning and transmission electron microscopy studies. On the MOD GZO buffered Ni–3at.% W (Ni–W) substrates with additional CeO2/YSZ sputtered over layers, a 0.8-μm-thick YBa2Cu3O7−δ (YBCO) film, grown by an ex situ metalorganic trifluoroacetate precursor method, yielded critical current, Ic (77 K, self-field), of 100 A/cm width. Furthermore, using pulsed-laser deposited YBCO films, a zero-field superconducting critical current density, Jc (77 K), of 1 × 106 A/cm2 was demonstrated on an all-solution, simplified CeO2(MOD)/GZO(MOD)/Ni–W architecture. The present study establishes GZO buffers as a candidate material for low-cost, all-solution coated conductor fabrication.
Adhesion of thin films of epitaxial oxides to nickel-based metallic substrates is important for the successful development of high-temperature superconductor coated conductors. Detachment of epitaxial oxide buffer layers at the oxide/metal interface during either oxide growth or subsequent processing renders the conductor useless. In this study, thermal desorption spectroscopy (TDS) has been used to identify and understand one of the causes of buffer layer detachment, oxidation of carbon at the oxide–metal interface to form carbon monoxide. Results of TDS indicate that on the surface of a bare nickel-based alloy substrate, the rate of carbon oxidation depends on both the supply of carbon from the substrate and the supply of oxygen from the vapor. Sulfur at the surface of the alloy substrate reduces the rate of carbon oxidation. The effectiveness of various treatments of the bare substrate to eliminate CO formation and epitaxial oxide detachment has been demonstrated. TDS provides both a means to evaluate the kinetics of the oxidation reaction and a tool to assess the need and effectiveness of a substrate oxidation treatment.
Epitaxial lanthanum zirconate (LZO) buffer layers have been grown by sol-gel processing on Ni–W substrates. We report on the application of these oxide films as seed and barrier layers in coated conductor fabrication as potentially simpler, lower cost coated-conductor architecture. The LZO films, about 80–100-nm thick, were found to have dense, crack-free surfaces with high surface crystallinity. Using 0.2-μm YBCO deposited by pulsed laser deposition, a critical current density of 2 MA/cm2 has been demonstrated on the LZO films (YBCO/LZO/Ni–W). Using 0.8-μm YBCO deposited using metal organic decomposition, a critical current density of 1.7 MA/cm2 and a critical current of 135 A/cm have been demonstrated on the LZO barrier layer with a sputtered CeO2 cap layer (YBCO/CeO2/LZO/Ni–W). These results offer promise to replace several of the vacuum-deposited layers in the typical coated conductor architecture (YBCO/CeO2/YSZ/Y2O3/Ni/Ni-W).
The effects of conversion parameters on transport properties of YBa2Cu3O7-δ (YBCO) films on rolling assisted biaxially textured substrates (RABiTS) in the BaF2 ex situ process were investigated for total pressures Ptotal between 0.1 and 1.3 atm, water vapor pressures PH2O between approximately 7 and 70 Torr and processing temperatures TS between 700 and 790 °C. For this study, a 0.3-μm-thick Y–BaF2–Cu–O precursor film was deposited on a 1-cm-wide Ni=3 at.% W RABiTS with a buffer layer architecture of CeO2/YSZ/Y2O3/Ni deposited in single passes in various reel-to-reel systems for each layer. Under the conditions of Ptotal = 0.1 atm, TS = 740 °C and PO2 approximately 150 mTorr, JC > 2 MA/cm2 was obtained at 77 K and self field for PH2O ≤ 20 Torr. At higher PH2O (=70 Torr), however, the maximum attainable JC decreased. In addition, the JC at these higher PH2O dropped rapidly with increased dwell time. The highest JC, 2.5 MA/cm2, was achieved at 730 °C with Ptotal = 0.1 atm and PH2O approximately 7 Torr. Finally, the variation of IC with wet conversion time was performed at each processing temperature.
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