Journal of Electronic Materials

, Volume 22, Issue 8, pp 1113–1120 | Cite as

Comparison of the surface morphology and microstructure of in situ and ex situ derived YBa2Cu3O7−x thin films

  • A. C. Westerheim
  • P. C. Mcintyre
  • S. N. Basu
  • D. Bhatt
  • L. S. Yu-Jahnes
  • Alfredo C. Anderson
  • M. J. Cima
Regular Issue Paper


The surface morphology and microstructure of in situ and ex situ derived YBa2Cu3O7−x (YBCO) thin films have been investigated. In situ films were deposited by single-target off-axis sputtering and three-target co-sputtering. Ex situ films were derived by metalorganic deposition (MOD) of trifluoroacetate precursors. Surface defects resulting from mixed a-axis and c-axis orientation as well as secondary phases have been identified in these films. Despite these defects, films with excellent electrical properties have been formed. However, defects interfere with film patterning and the fabrication of multi-layered structures. Several secondary phase precipitates have been identified, including CuO, Y2O3, Cu-Ba-O, and Y2Cu2O5. Secondary phases resulting from a lack of stoichiometry can be eliminated by direct composition control in the MOD and three-target sputtering techniques, and by composition control through the application of an externally applied magnetic field in single-target off-axis sputtering. Secondary phases caused by contamination were also identified: Cr-Ba-O in off-axis sputtering, resulting from contamination by the oxidized heater block; and BaSO4 in MOD, resulting from gas phase impurities. These results suggest that cation composition control is not sufficient to prevent the formation of secondary phases and that small levels of contamination may prevent phasepure material from being formed.

Key words

Microstructure surface morphology thin film superconductors YBa2Cu3O7−x 


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Copyright information

© The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. C. Westerheim
    • 1
    • 2
  • P. C. Mcintyre
    • 2
  • S. N. Basu
    • 3
  • D. Bhatt
    • 3
  • L. S. Yu-Jahnes
    • 1
    • 2
  • Alfredo C. Anderson
    • 2
  • M. J. Cima
    • 2
  1. 1.Lincoln LaboratoryMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyLexington
  2. 2.Department of Materials Science and EngineeringMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridge
  3. 3.Department of Manufacturing EngineeringBoston UniversityBoston

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