Degradation of superconducting properties in MgB2 films by exposure to water

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The effect of water exposure on MgB2 is studied by submerging an 800 nm thick MgB2 film into de-ionized water at room temperature for 1 h, 4 h, 10 h, and 15 h, and by analysing the resulting material using scanning electron microscopy and resistance versus temperature measurements. It is clearly observed that the [iopmath latex="$T_{c}^{onset}$"] Tconset [/iopmath] of these films (obtained by an ex-situ reaction of an e-beam evaporated boron layer) remains unchanged throughout this process, indicating that at least a portion of the sample retains its original bulk-like properties. The data is consistent with an interpretation in which a portion of the exposed film - likely to be the region closest to the substrate - becomes superconducting only at [iopmath latex="$\sim$"] ~ [/iopmath] 25 K. It is possible that this low- [iopmath latex="$T_{c}$"] Tc [/iopmath] region already exists in the as-prepared film, and we observe that its [iopmath latex="$T_{c}$"] Tc [/iopmath] coincides with that of MgB2 films obtained by annealing precursor films prepared by pulsed laser deposition. Therefore the data presented here not only illustrates the degradation of MgB2 in water but also sheds light on the differences and similarities between films obtained via different routes.

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Publication date: January 1, 2001

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