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Chemical solution deposition of Y₁₋ₓGdₓBa₂Cu₃O₇₋δ–BaHfO₃ nanocomposite films: combined influence of nanoparticles and rare-earth mixing on growth conditions and transport properties

Cayado, Pablo, Erbe, Manuela, Kauffmann-Weiss, Sandra, Jung, Alexandra, Hänisch, Jens, Holzapfel, Bernhard
RSC advances 2018 v.8 no.74 pp. 42398-42404
barium, copper, crystallization, crystals, gadolinium, magnetic fields, mixing, nanocomposites, nanoparticles, oxygen, stoichiometry, temperature, texture, yttrium
Y₁₋ₓGdₓBa₂Cu₃O₇₋δ–BaHfO₃ (YGBCO–BHO) nanocomposite films containing 12 mol% BHO nanoparticles and different amounts of Gd were prepared by chemical solution deposition following the trifluoroacetic route on SrTiO₃ single crystals in order to study the influence of the rare earth stoichiometry on structure, morphology and superconducting properties of these films. We optimized the growth process for each of several Gd contents of the 220 nm thick YGBCO–BHO films by varying crystallization temperature and oxygen partial pressure. This optimization process led to the conclusion that mixing the rare earths in YGBCO–BHO films leads to wider growth parameter windows compared to YBCO-BHO and GdBCO-BHO films giving larger freedom for selecting the most convenient processing parameters in order to adapt to different substrates or applications which is very important for the industrial production of coated conductors. The optimized films show a continuous increase of Tc with Gd content x from ∼90 K for the YBCO-BHO films to ∼94 K for the GdBCO-BHO films. Consequently, an increase of the 77 K self-field Jc with Gd content is observed reaching values > 7 MA cm⁻² for Gd contents x > 0.5. The transport properties of these films under applied magnetic fields are significantly improved with respect to the pristine YBCO films. All YGBCO–BHO nanocomposite films grew epitaxially with c-axis orientation and excellent out-of-plane and in-plane texture. The films are dense with a low amount of pores and only superficial indentations.