High Tc superconductors and the contact properties
Methods of processing large grained textured superconductor have been successfully developed, based on a melt texturing process. Large grained textured superconductor with grain size over 10mm along the growth direction and Jc over 3600A/cm2 (77K, 0.5 Tesla) has been produced in both one - zone and two - zone furnaces with good reproducibility. Two kinds of design of reactive metal contacts have been proposed and investigated, aiming to make low resistivity contacts with strong mechanical strength. Three possible reactive contact metals have been tested for contact making, and the microstructures at the interfaces have been studied to find the relations between contact resistivity and contact processing conditions. Titanium/noble metal multilayer contacts is a promising type of contact technique for low resistivity and strong mechanical bonds. Gold and silver contacts give resistivities among the best reported results in the literature, and they turned out to be extremely stable in time, could withstand repeated thermal cycling from room temperature to 10K and yield very reproducible R-T curves. The electrochemical titration method has been used to increase the oxygen stoichiometry of bulk textured YBa2Cu3O7-x samples. The electrochemical titration method can further oxidize melt textured thick film YBa2Cu3O7-x samples in which it may be difficult to further improve oxygen content by conventional annealing. The solid state electrochemical cell has been used to study the thermodynamic properties of the Y-Ba-Cu-O system at high oxygen pressure by measuring the oxygen activity versus time continuously immediately after the electrochemical titration. A series of computer models have been set up according to the microstructure of the contact interface to simulate the complicated contact resistivity behaviours. The nature of, and geometry of, the reaction products at the contact interfaces may be revealed by the temperature dependence of the contact resistance. This information combined with direct observations on the structure and chemistry of the contacts provided a fuller understanding of conduction mechanism at the contact interface.