Letter | Published:

Addition of nanoparticle dispersions to enhance flux pinning of the YBa2Cu3O7-x superconductor

Nature volume 430, pages 867870 (19 August 2004) | Download Citation

Subjects

Abstract

Following the discovery of type-II high-temperature superconductors in 1986 (refs 1, 2), work has proceeded to develop these materials for power applications. One of the problems, however, has been that magnetic flux is not completely expelled, but rather is contained within magnetic fluxons, whose motion prevents larger supercurrents. It is known that the critical current of these materials can be enhanced by incorporating a high density of extended defects to act as pinning centres for the fluxons3,4. YBa2Cu3O7 (YBCO or 123) is the most promising material for such applications at higher temperatures (liquid nitrogen)3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13. Pinning is optimized when the size of the defects approaches the superconducting coherence length ( 2–4 nm for YBCO at temperatures ≤77 K) and when the areal number density of defects is of the order of (H/2) × 1011 cm-2, where H is the applied magnetic field in tesla3,4. Such a high density has been difficult to achieve by material-processing methods that maintain a nanosize defect, except through irradiation5. Here we report a method for achieving a dispersion of 8-nm-sized nanoparticles in YBCO with a high number density, which increases the critical current (at 77 K) by a factor of two to three for high magnetic fields.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1.

    & Possible high Tc superconductivity in the Ba-La-Cu-O system. Z. Phys. B 64, 189–193 (1986)

  2. 2.

    et al. Superconductivity at 93 K in a new mixed-phase Y-Ba-Cu-O compound system at ambient pressure. Phys. Rev. Lett. 58, 908–910 (1987)

  3. 3.

    , , & High-Tc superconducting materials for electric power applications. Nature 414, 368–377 (2001)

  4. 4.

    Flux pinning in superconducting 123 materials. Supercond. Sci. Technol. 13, 730–737 (2000)

  5. 5.

    et al. Vortex confinement by columnar defects in YBa2Cu3O7 crystals: enhanced pinning at high fields and temperatures. Phys. Rev. Lett. 67, 648–651 (1991)

  6. 6.

    et al. Fabrication of 100 A class, 1 m long coated conductor tapes by metal organic chemical vapor deposition and pulsed laser deposition. Physica C 392–396, 859–862 (2003)

  7. 7.

    et al. Uniform performance of continuously processed MOD-YBCO-coated conductors using a textured Ni-W substrate. Supercond. Sci. Technol. 16, L19–L22 (2003)

  8. 8.

    et al. Recent progress in continuously processed IBAD MgO template meters for HTS applications. Physica C 382, 43–47 (2002)

  9. 9.

    et al. Recent progress in the fabrication of high-Jc tapes by epitaxial deposition of YBCO on RABiTS. Physica C 357–360, 903–913 (2001)

  10. 10.

    et al. Development of coated conductors by inclined substrate deposition. Physica C 392–396, 806–814 (2003)

  11. 11.

    , & Fabrication of long-Y123 coated conductors by a combination of IBAD and PLD. Physica C 392–396, 783–789 (2003)

  12. 12.

    , , , & Flux pinning effects of twin boundaries studied with unidirectionally twinned YBCO films. Physica C 372–376, 1885–1889 (2002)

  13. 13.

    , , & Role of oxygen vacancies in the flux-pinning mechanism, and hole-doping lattice disorder in high-current-density YBa2Cu3O7-x films. Phys. Rev. B 45, 7555–7558 (19931992)

  14. 14.

    & Conductors from superconductors: conventional low-temperature and new high-temperature superconducting conductors. MRS Bull. 18, 50–56 (Aug. 1993)

  15. 15.

    et al. Origin of high critical currents in YBa2Cu3O7-x superconducting thin films. Nature 399, 439–442 (1999)

  16. 16.

    et al. Nature of magnetic field and angular dependencies of the critical current density in epitaxial HTS YBa2Cu3O7-x films. Physica C 388–389, 431–432 (2003)

  17. 17.

    Nucleation and growth of thin films. Vacuum 38, 1083–1099 (1988)

  18. 18.

    , , & Three-dimensional binary superlattices of magnetic nanocrystals and semiconductor quantum dots. Nature 423, 968–971 (2003)

  19. 19.

    , , & Self-organized growth of three-dimensional quantum-dot crystals with FCC-like stacking and a tunable lattice constant. Science 282, 734–737 (1998)

  20. 20.

    , & Self-organized growth of three-dimensional quantum-dot superlattices. Appl. Phys. Lett. 80, 3910–3912 (2002)

  21. 21.

    et al. Island-growth of Y2BaCuO5 nanoparticles in (2111.5 nm/12310 nm)xN composite multilayer structures to enhance flux pinning of YBa2Cu3O7-δ films. J. Mater. Res. 18, 2618–2623 (2003)

  22. 22.

    & Numerical calculation of elastic pinning parameters by point pins. Physica C 260, 188–196 (1996)

  23. 23.

    , , , & Effect of O2 partial pressure on YBa2Cu3O7-δ thin film growth by pulsed laser deposition. Physica C 297, 47–57 (2003)

  24. 24.

    , , , & Structures and effects of radiation damage in cuprate superconductors irradiated with several-hundred-MeV heavy ions. Phys. Rev. B 48, 6436–6450 (1993)

Download references

Acknowledgements

The Air Force Office of Scientific Research supported this work. We thank J. Murphy, L. Brunke, J. Evans and T. Campbell for experimental assistance, and S. Apt of UES Inc. at the Wright-Patterson AFB Materials Directorate for assistance with SEM and TEM. We also thank R. Feenstra and A. A. Gapud at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) for providing Jc(H) data for a reference 123 film.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio 45433-7919, USA

    • T. Haugan
    • , P. N. Barnes
    • , R. Wheeler
    •  & F. Meisenkothen
  2. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA

    • M. Sumption

Authors

  1. Search for T. Haugan in:

  2. Search for P. N. Barnes in:

  3. Search for R. Wheeler in:

  4. Search for F. Meisenkothen in:

  5. Search for M. Sumption in:

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to T. Haugan.

About this article

Publication history

Received

Accepted

Published

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nature02792

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.