Microstructure and Mechanics of Superconductor Epitaxy via the Chemical Solution Deposition Method

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Executive Summary: Initially the funds were sufficient funds were awarded to support one graduate student and one post-doc. Lange, though other funds, also supported a graduate intern from ETH Zurich, Switzerland for a period of 6 months. The initial direction was to study the chemical solution deposition method to understand the microstructural and mechanical phenomena that currently limit the production of thick film, reliable superconductor wires. The study was focused on producing thicker buffer layer(s) on Ni-alloy substrates produced by the RABiTS method. It focused on the development of the microstructure during epitaxy, and the mechanical phenomena that produce cracks ... continued below

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Lange, Frederick F. November 30, 2006.

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Executive Summary: Initially the funds were sufficient funds were awarded to support one graduate student and one post-doc. Lange, though other funds, also supported a graduate intern from ETH Zurich, Switzerland for a period of 6 months. The initial direction was to study the chemical solution deposition method to understand the microstructural and mechanical phenomena that currently limit the production of thick film, reliable superconductor wires. The study was focused on producing thicker buffer layer(s) on Ni-alloy substrates produced by the RABiTS method. It focused on the development of the microstructure during epitaxy, and the mechanical phenomena that produce cracks during dip-coating, pyrolysis (decomposition of precursors during heating), crystallization and epitaxy. The initial direction of producing thicker layers of a know buffer layer material was redirected by co-workers at ORNL, in an attempt to epitaxially synthesize a potential buffer layer material, LaMnO3, via the solution route. After a more than a period of 6 months that showed that the LaMnO3 reacted with the Ni-W substrate at temperatures that could produce epitaxy, reviewers at the annual program review strongly recommended that the research was not yielding positive results. The only positive result presented at the meeting was that much thicker films could be produce by incorporating a polymer into the precursor that appeared to increase the precursor’s resistance to crack growth. Thus, to continue the program, the objectives were changed to find compositions with the perovskite structure that would be a) chemically compatible with either the Ni-W RABiTS or the MgO IBAD Ni-alloy substrates, and produce a better lattice parameter fit between either of the two substrates. At the start of the second year, the funding was reduced to 2/3’s of the first year level, which required the termination of the post-doc after approximately 5 months into the second year. From then on, further funding was intermittent to say the least, and funding to support the student and the research expenses has to be supplemented by Lange’s gift funds. During the first part of the second year, strontium zirconate was identified as an alternative to lanthanum manganite as a buffer layer for use on the IBAD MgO superconducting wire. A lattice parameter of 4.101 Angstroms offers a reduced lattice mismatch between the MgO and SrZrO3. Studies were focused on investigating hybrid precursor routes, combining Sr acetate with a number of different Zr alkoxides. Initial results from heat treating precursors to form powders are positive with the formation of orthorhombic SrZrO3 at temperatures between 800°C and 1100°C under a reducing atmosphere of Ar – 5% H2. Buffer layer research on RABiTS substrates were centered on GdAlO3 (3.71 Å) and YAlO3 (3.68 Å) buffer layer materials. Powder experiments in YAlO3 have shown the perovskite phase to be metastable at processing temperatures below 1500 °C. Experiments involving spin coating of YAlO3 precursors have found significant problems involved with wettability of the YAlO3 precursor (Yttrium acetate, Aluminum tri-sec butoxide, DI water and Formic Acid) on RABiTS substrates; this, and the demise of the funds precluded further research using YAlO3. The diminished funds for the second year, and the small, tricked funds during the third year lead to a redirection of the student to another research area., and a stop to any experimental achievements that were much too ambition relative to the available funds. The only positive results obtained during this latter period was the understanding why two dissimilar structures could result in an epitaxial relation. It was shown that two rules of crystal chemistry, cation/anion coordination and charge balance, could be applied to understand the epitaxy of SrTiO3 on Ni c(2 X 2)S, TiO2 (anatase) on LaAlO3, TiO2 (rutile) on r-plane Al2O3, and Zr1-x(Yx)O2 on (0001) Al2O3. This new understanding of the interface between two dissimilar structures has important implications that include the buffer layers used for the superconductor program, namely, the epitaxy of perovskites such as the epitaxy of SrTiO3 on the Ni c(2 X 2)S wire. This discovery is the major part of the finial report that follows.

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  • Report No.: Final Report DOE/ID/14511
  • Grant Number: FC07-03ID14511
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 895676
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc886491

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  • November 30, 2006

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  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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Lange, Frederick F. Microstructure and Mechanics of Superconductor Epitaxy via the Chemical Solution Deposition Method, text, November 30, 2006; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc886491/: accessed October 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.