Research on REBCO Films and Conductors

A topical collection in Crystals (ISSN 2073-4352).

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Department of Quantum Matter Physics, Ecole de Physique, University of Geneva, 24, Quai Ernest-Ansermet, 1205 Geneva, Switzerland
Interests: superconductivity; thin films; REBCO; nanocomposites
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Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Institute for Technical Physics, Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1, 76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany
Interests: material characterization; materials; thin films; solid state physics; thin films and nanotechnology; condensed matter physics; nanomaterials; metals; nanotechnology; materials science

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SCRiPTS, Department of Chemistry, Ghent University, Krijgslaan 281-S3, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
Interests: transmission electron microscope; nanoparticles; thin film; nanocomposite; material; scanning electron microscope; x-ray diffraction; superconductor; ferroelectric; opto-electronic; electronic; nucleation and growth

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues, 

In recent years, REBa2Cu3O7−δ (REBCO) films have attracted much interest in the field of applied superconductivity. As base materials of second-generation (2G) high-Tc superconducting tapes and coated conductors (CCs), the improvement of their performance is essential for the large-scale use of the CCs in multiple applications, such as high-field magnets, motors, generators, and fault–current limiters. Nevertheless, the proliferation of CCs not only depends on their performance but also on their price. Therefore, the efforts of most researchers in the field are devoted to decreasing the cost/performance ratio, i.e., decreasing the fabrication costs and increasing the performances of CCs. Although in the past, most of the studies about the preparation of REBCO thin films were carried out by in situ techniques such as metal–organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD), pulsed laser deposition (PLD), or sputtering, chemical methods have appeared in recent years as an attractive alternative to the previous techniques. Versatile and scalable chemical methods, of which chemical solution deposition (CSD) is the most relevant, have proven to be useful for improving the performance of films, while the production cost is drastically reduced. However, even today, there is much room for improvement in both types of technique. New advances that allow for improvements in the quality of the films or that help to decrease fabrication costs are required to further spread the use of the CCs, and this Special Issue of Crystals aims to collect papers reporting on such new ideas and methods.

Dr. Pablo Cayado
Dr. Jens Hänisch
Dr. Hannes Rijckaert
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • thin films
  • superconductor
  • REBCO compounds
  • sol–gel
  • chemical solution deposition (CSD)
  • nanoparticles
  • pinning
  • nanocomposites
  • transport properties
  • magnetic properties.

Published Papers (3 papers)

2022

10 pages, 3831 KiB  
Article
Effect of Chlorine Addition on Texture and Superconducting Performance of YBa2Cu3O7−δ-Coated Conductors
by Mingyue Chen, Zhiyong Liu, Minjuan Li, Zhichao Yan, Rongtie Huang, Sida Qian, Jing Chen and Chuanbing Cai
Crystals 2022, 12(7), 925; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst12070925 - 29 Jun 2022
Viewed by 1292
Abstract
YBa2Cu3O7−δ (YBCO) thin films with the addition of Cl were prepared on Hastelloy tape by the extremely low fluorine metal-organic deposition (MOD) technique. The composition and microstructure of the present samples were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and [...] Read more.
YBa2Cu3O7−δ (YBCO) thin films with the addition of Cl were prepared on Hastelloy tape by the extremely low fluorine metal-organic deposition (MOD) technique. The composition and microstructure of the present samples were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). It was revealed that the Cl-added YBCO thin films achieved better texture and density compared with the pure YBCO films. The superconducting properties at magnetic fields were measured using the magnetic property measurement system (MPMS). The results showed that the sample onset transition temperature (Tc, on) did not change significantly after the addition of Cl. The critical current density (Jc) in the presence of YBCO with the addition of Cl increased significantly. Meanwhile, both the Jc and gravitational force (Fp) of the (Cl, Hf) co-added YBCO films were further enhanced at different magnetic fields. The thermodynamic analysis of the BaCO3 removal reaction revealed that the addition of Cl to YBCO formed chlorine compounds, which were effective in avoiding the formation of BaCO3. Further, the calculation results of the Gibbs free energy at different pressure quotients showed that the stability of the relevant chlorine compounds occurred in the order of BaCl2 > CuCl2 > YCl3 and the oxidation of BaCl2 to BaO required a higher temperature compared to BaF2, implying the potential advantages of inhibiting the a-axis growth. Full article
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14 pages, 3166 KiB  
Article
Low-Vacuum Pyrolysis of YBCO Films by Using Fluorine-Free Metal Organic Chemical Deposition
by Zhao Yang, Chuanbing Cai, Ningdong Chu, Shuyun Tong, Yuming Lu and Zhiyong Liu
Crystals 2022, 12(6), 812; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst12060812 - 8 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1490
Abstract
The preparation of YBCO superconducting films by using metal organic chemical deposition (MOD) involves low-temperature pyrolysis and high-temperature treatment. The former process generally requires the introduction of water vapor and other gases. The study on pyrolysis in a low vacuum environment and non-carrier [...] Read more.
The preparation of YBCO superconducting films by using metal organic chemical deposition (MOD) involves low-temperature pyrolysis and high-temperature treatment. The former process generally requires the introduction of water vapor and other gases. The study on pyrolysis in a low vacuum environment and non-carrier gas atmosphere has never been reported. In this work, we explored a low vacuum pyrolysis scheme with simple Argon gas decompression and a carrier-free atmosphere. The effects of heating rate on the microstructure of pyrolysis films were investigated, and the high-temperature treatment temperature (Th) was also optimized. Compared with conventional pyrolysis, the present low-vacuum pyrolysis does not employ the flowing dry or wet gases, facilitating the internal gas release during film decomposition. More importantly, the efficiency was greatly improved with reduced pyrolysis time. The obtained film surface is free of CuO particle, which leads to a lower roughness. We also investigated the effect of Th on the final YBCO film texture and superconductivity. As Th increased from 810 °C to 815 °C, the BaCuO2 phase decreased with enhanced c-axis orientation being evident by XRD and Raman spectra. As a result, the critical current density (Jc) increased from 0.38 MA/cm2 to 1.2 MA/cm2 (77 K, self-field). Full article
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11 pages, 2405 KiB  
Article
An Evaluation of Nanoparticle Distribution in Solution-Derived YBa2Cu3O7−δ Nanocomposite Thin Films by XPS Depth Profiling in Combination with TEM Analysis
by Els Bruneel, Hannes Rijckaert, Javier Diez Sierra, Klaartje De Buysser and Isabel Van Driessche
Crystals 2022, 12(3), 410; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst12030410 - 17 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1958
Abstract
This work discusses the development of an analysis routine for evaluating the nanoparticle distribution in nanocomposite thin films. YBa2Cu3O7−δ (YBCO) nanocomposite films were synthesized via a chemical solution deposition approach starting from colloidal YBCO solutions with preformed nanoparticles. [...] Read more.
This work discusses the development of an analysis routine for evaluating the nanoparticle distribution in nanocomposite thin films. YBa2Cu3O7−δ (YBCO) nanocomposite films were synthesized via a chemical solution deposition approach starting from colloidal YBCO solutions with preformed nanoparticles. The distribution of the nanoparticles and interlayer diffusion are evaluated with X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) depth profiling and compared with cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images. It is shown that the combination of both techniques deliver valuable information on the film properties as nanoparticle distribution, film thickness and interlayer diffusion. Full article
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