Mechanisms of weak thickness dependence of the critical current density in strong-pinning ex situ metal–organic-deposition-route YBa2Cu3O7-x coated conductors

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We report on the thickness dependence of the superconducting characteristics including critical current Ic, critical current density Jc, transition temperature Tc, irreversibility field Hirr, bulk pinning force plot Fp(H), and normal state resistivity curve (T) measured after successive ion milling of ~1 µm thick high-Ic YBa2Cu3O7-x films made by an ex situ metal–organic deposition process on Ni–W rolling-assisted biaxially textured substrates (RABiTSTM). In contrast to many recent data, mostly on in situ pulsed laser deposition (PLD) films, which show strong depression of Jc with increasing film thickness t, our films exhibit only a weak dependence of Jc on t. The two better textured samples had full cross-section average Jc,avg (77 K, 0 T) ~4 MA cm-2 near the buffer layer interface and ~3 MA cm-2 at full thickness, despite significant current blocking due to ~30% porosity in the film. Taking account of the thickness dependence of the porosity, we estimate that the local, vortex-pinning current density is essentially independent of thickness, while accounting for the additional current-blocking effects of grain boundaries leads to local, vortex-pinning Jc values well above 5 MA cm-2. Such high local Jc values are produced by strong three-dimensional vortex pinning which subdivides vortex lines into weakly coupled segments much shorter than the film thickness.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 1, 2006

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