Energy dependent structure of Xe ion tracks in YBCO and the effect on the superconductive properties in magnetic fields

The morphology and structure of damaged regions (tracks) produced by swift heavy 167, 77, and 46 MeV 132Xe23+ ions in YBCO-based second generation industrial high temperature superconductors wires (2G HTS) were studied using transmission electron microscopy. It was shown that ions produce tracks aligned along the ion trajectory but of morphology depending on their energy: continuous, nearly continuous, or discontinuous tracks like prolate ellipsoids of 10–15 nm in length and spheroids of 5 nm in diameter. The damaged regions of about 5 nm in diameter contain an amorphous material with a lower density compared to the pristine YBCO. The material density drops from 6300 kgm−3 for YBCO matrix to 3600 kgm−3 inside the tracks. Barium enrichment was found in the vicinity of the track at a distance of about 10 nm from the center of the defect. Ion damage tracks with different morphologies showed different effectivenesses as pinning centers. Tracks composed of discontinuous pinning centers—spheroids of about 5 nm in diameter—bring the best enhancement of the critical current density. It occurs for the lowest ion energy (46 MeV) in the range of energy loss of 8.9 keV/nm–4.7 keV/nm for Xe ions. The samples showed highest critical current densities of 56 MA/cm2 (4.2 K) and 3 MA/cm2 (77 K) in self-field, while in magnetic fields of 8 T, the values of 17 MA/cm2 (4.2 K) and 1.6 MA/cm2 (77 K) were achieved. The reduction of the superconducting volume corresponding to the amorphous radiation defects did not exceed 4% from the total sample volume.


Published in:
Journal of Applied Physics, 126, 1-13, 145106
Year:
Oct 09 2019
Laboratories:




 Record created 2019-10-10, last modified 2019-12-05

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