Infoscience

Journal article

YBCO/LSMO and LSMO/YBCO double-layer deposition by off-axis magnetron sputtering and strain effects

We report here on ferromagnetic/superconductor FM/SC and SC/FM double layers deposited without a buffer layer between FM and SC. Thin films of La0.7Sr0.3MnO3 (LSMO) are used for the FM, and YBa2Cu3O7-x (YBCO) for the SC. Both films can grow crystalline on SrTiO3 (STO) or LaAlO3 (LAO) substrates in high temperature and in oxygen atmosphere conditions. Magnetic and transport measurements and X-ray diffraction analysis are used to characterise film quality and properties. It is shown that off-axis magnetron sputtering can be used for high-quality double layer deposition. A prerequisite for this is the suppression of the interdiffusion process. This is achieved by lowering the deposition temperature and shortening the deposition time for the top layer. Lattice relaxation for LSMO films deposited on LAO substrates is seen. It is demonstrated that post-deposition annealing or additional top layer deposition enlarges the relaxed part of the lower LSMO film. LSMO films are smooth and free of imperfections and the stress is partly relieved by the formation of misfit dislocations. For YBCO films, SEM, XRD, EDX and magnetisation characterisations show that film lattice relaxation starts when single-element-oxide crystals start to grow into the film. Many experiments give evidence of a critical thickness of about 30nm of a strained layer, after which the top part of the YBCO film relaxes. Despite the small compositional deviation due to the interdiffusion, the YBCO/LSMO double films demonstrate high enough transport and magnetic properties to allow their application in the investigation of the injection of spin-polarised quasiparticles from FM to SC film. The critical current for YBCO film is Jc∼0.7 × 106A/cm2 if it is a bottom layer, and Jc∼1.7 × 106A/cm2 if YBCO is a top layer, whilst our optimal single-layer YBCO films have Jc∼(2.5-5) × 106A/cm2 at 77 K. © 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

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