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Open Access Surface characterization of as-grown CeO2 cap layer morphology evolution and critical current density of post-deposited YBCO films

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Cerium dioxide (CeO2) cap layers for high temperature superconducting coated conductors were fabricated on yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) single crystal substrates via the unbalanced radio frequency (RF) magnetron sputtering method. YBa2Cu3O7–δ (YBCO) films were epitaxially deposited on the as-grown CeO2/YSZ (001) stacks using water-free metal organic deposition (MOD) method. The surface morphology evolution of CeO2 cap layers could be tuned by adjusting the sputtering pressure, from smooth and uniformly granular, to rough and composed of spindle-like islands. According to the atomic force microscopy (AFM) data, a monotonic relationship could be found between the root mean squared (RMS) roughness value and flat area fraction. The critical current density (J c) of the MOD-YBCO film varied significantly along with the CeO2 morphology evolution, caused by the degradation of YBCO film's epitaxial growth. It was found that the as-grown CeO2 cap layer deposited at 0.5 Pa could serve as a favorable template and did not require post-modification, on which YBCO film with J c of 1.92 MA/cm2 (77 K, self-field) could be obtained. The MOD process would be improved in our future study by parameter optimization to enhance the J c property of YBCO films.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2015

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