In this article, we report the unique microstructural characteristics of YBa2Cu3O7-x (YBCO)/BaSnO3 (BSO) nanocomposite thin films on LaAlO3 (LAO) substrates. The BSO secondary phase grows as self-assembled vertically aligned nanopillars uniformly distributed in the superconducting YBCO matrix. Detailed microstructure and strain studies including x-ray diffraction, cross-section and plan-view transmission electron microscopy, and geometric phase analysis reveal that, as the BSO doping concentration varied from 2 mol% to 20 mol%, the nanopillar density increased from 0.26 × 1011/cm2 to 1.44 × 1011/cm2 while the diameter of the nanopillars remains relatively constant (7–8 nm in diameter). The strain state of the YBCO matrix is affected by both lateral and vertical lattice strains; while, the BSO lattice is strongly tuned by YBCO rather than the substrate. A high-density array of dislocations in the order of 1013/cm2 was observed along the vertical heterogeneous interfaces throughout the YBCO film thickness for all doping concentrations.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
O.I. Lebedev, J. Verbeeck, G. Van Tendeloo, O. Shapoval, A. Belenchuk, V. Moshnyaga, B. Damashcke, and K. Samwer: Structural phase transitions and stress accommodation in (La0.67Ca0.33MnO3)1-x:(MgO)x composite films. Phys. Rev. B 66, 104421 (2002).
J. Ma, J.M. Hu, Z. Li, and C.W. Nan: Recent progress in multiferroic magnetoelectric composites: From bulk to thin films. Adv. Mater. 23, 1062 (2011).
C.W. Nan, M.I. Bichurin, S.X. Dong, D. Viehland, and G. Srinivasan: Multiferroic magnetoelectric composites: Historical perspective, status, and future directions. J. Appl. Phys. 103, 31101 (2008).
S.A. Harrington, J.H. Durrell, H. Wang, S.C. Wimbush, C.F. Tsai, and J.L. MacManus-Driscoll: Understanding nanoparticle self-assembly for a strong improvement in functionality in thin film nanocomposites. Nanotechnology 21, 235702 (2010).
H. Zheng, J. Wang, S.E. Lofland, Z. Ma, L. Mohaddes-Ardabili, T. Zhao, L. Salamanca-Riba, S.R. Shinde, S.B. Ogale, F. Bai, D. Viehland, Y. Jia, D.G. Schlom, M. Wuttig, A. Roytburd, and R. Ramesh: Multiferroic BaTiO3-CoFe2O4 nanostructures. Science 303, 661 (2004).
J.L. MacManus-Driscoll, P. Zerrer, H.Y. Wang, H. Yang, J. Yoon, A. Fouchet, R. Yu, M.G. Blamire, and Q.X. Jia: Strain control and spontaneous phase ordering in vertical nanocomposite heteroepitaxial thin films. Nat. Mater. 7, 314 (2008).
H. Yang, H.Y. Wang, J. Yoon, Y.Q. Wang, M. Jain, D.M. Feldmann, P.C. Dowden, J.L. MacManus-Driscoll, and Q.X. Jia: Vertical interface effect on the physical properties of self-assembled nanocomposite epitaxial films. Adv. Mater. 21, 3794 (2009).
J. Yoon, S. Cho, J.H. Kim, J. Lee, Z.X. Bi, A. Serquis, X.H. Zhang, A. Manthiram, and H.Y. Wang: Vertically aligned nanocomposite thin films as a cathode/electrolyte interface layer for thin-film solid-oxide fuel cells. Adv. Funct. Mater. 19, 3868 (2009).
Z.X. Bi, J.H. Lee, H. Yang, Q.X. Jia, J.L. MacManus-Driscoll, and H.Y. Wang: Tunable lattice strain in vertically aligned nanocomposite (BiFeO3)x:(Sm2O3)1-x thin films. J. Appl. Phys. 106, 94309 (2009).
A.P. Chen, Z.X. Bi, C.F. Tsai, J. Lee, Q. Su, X.H. Zhang, Q.X. Jia, J.L. MacManus-Driscoll, and H.Y. Wang: Tunable low-field magnetoresistance in (La0.7Sr0.3MnO3)0.5:(ZnO)0.5 self-assembled vertically aligned nanocomposite thin films. Adv. Funct. Mater. 21, 2423 (2011).
M.K. Wu, J.R. Ashburn, C.J. Torng, P.H. Hor, R.L. Meng, L. Gao, Z.J. Huang, Y.Q. Wang, C.W. Chu: Superconductivity at 93 K in a new mixed-phase Y-Ba-Cu-O compound system at ambient pressure. Phys. Rev. Lett. 58, 908 (1987).
S.R. Foltyn, L. Civale, J.L. MacManus-Driscoll, Q.X. Jia, B. Maiorov, H. Wang, and M. Maley: Materials science challenges for high-temperature superconducting wire. Nat. Mater. 6, 631 (2007).
S.C. Wimbush, J.H. Durrell, C.F. Tsai, H. Wang, Q.X. Jia, M.G. Blamire, and J.L. MacManus-Driscoll: Enhanced critical current in YBa2Cu3O7-δ thin films through pinning by ferromagnetic YFeO3 nanoparticles. Supercond. Sci. Technol. 23, 45019 (2010).
T. Haugan, P.N. Barnes, R. Wheeler, F. Meisenkothen, and M. Sumption: Addition of nanoparticle dispersions to enhance flux pinning of the YBa2Cu3O7-x superconductor. Nature 430, 867 (2004).
B. Dam, J.M. Huijbregtse, and J.H. Rector: Strong pinning linear defects formed at the coherent growth transition of pulsed-laser-deposited YBa2Cu3O7-δ films. Phys. Rev. B 65, 64528 (2002).
J.L. MacManus-Driscoll, S.R. Foltyn, Q.X. Jia, H. Wang, A. Serquis, L. Civale, B. Maiorov, M.E. Hawley, M.P. Maley, and D.E. Peterson: Strongly enhanced current densities in superconducting coated conductors of YBa2Cu3O7-x+BaZrO3. Nat. Mater. 3, 439 (2004).
S.R. Foltyn, H. Wang, L. Civale, Q.X. Jia, P.N. Arendt, B. Maiorov, Y. Li, M.P. Maley, and J.L. MacManus-Driscoll: Overcoming the barrier to 1000 A/cm width superconducting coatings. Appl. Phys. Lett. 87, 162505 (2005).
S. Kang, A. Goyal, J. Li, A.A. Gapud, P.M. Martin, L. Heatherly, J.R. Thompson, D.K. Christen, F.A. List, M. Paranthaman, and D.F. Lee: High-performance high-Tc superconducting wires. Science 311, 1911 (2006).
C.V. Varanasi, J. Burke, L. Brunke, H. Wang, M. Sumption, and P.N. Barnes: Enhancement and angular dependence of transport critical current density in pulsed laser deposited YBa2Cu3O7-x+BaSnO3 films in applied magnetic fields. J. Appl. Phys. 102, 63909 (2007).
C.V. Varanasi, J. Burke, L. Brunke, H. Wang, J.H. Lee, and P.N. Barnes: Critical current density and microstructure variations in YBa2Cu3O7-x+BaSnO3 films with different concentrations of BaSnO3.J. Mater. Res. 23, 3363 (2008).
S.H. Wee, A. Goyal, E.D. Specht, C. Cantoni, Y.L. Zuev, V. Selvamanickam, and S. Cook: Enhanced flux pinning and critical current density via incorporation of self-assembled rare-earth barium tantalate nanocolumns within YBa2Cu3O7-δ films. Phys. Rev. B 81, 140503 (2010).
S.H. Wee, A. Goyal, Y.L. Zuev, C. Cantoni, V. Selvamanickam, and E.D. Specht: Formation of, double-perovskite, nanocolumns and their contribution to flux-pinning and Jc in Nb-doped YBa2Cu3O7-δ films. Appl. Phys. Express 3, 023101 (2010).
C. Cantoni, Y.F. Gao, S.H. Wee, E.D. Specht, J. Gazquez, J.Y. Meng, S.J. Pennycook, and A. Goyal: Strain-driven oxygen deficiency in self-assembled, nanostructured, composite oxide films. ACS Nano 5, 4783 (2011).
H.Y. Wang and J. Wang: Interfacial defects and flux-pinning effects in nanostructured YBa2Cu3O7-δ thin films. IEEE Trans. Appl. Supercond. 19, 3395 (2009).
P.N. Barnes, T.J. Haugan, C.V. Varanasi, and T.A. Campbell: Flux pinning behavior of incomplete multilayered lattice structures in YBa2Cu3O7-δ. Appl. Phys. Lett. 85, 4088 (2004).
W.L. Winterbottom: Equilibrium shape of a small particle in contact with a foreign substrate. Acta Metall. 15, 303 (1967).
P. Mele, K. Matsumoto, T. Horide, A. Ichinose, M. Mukaida, Y. Yoshida, S. Horii, and R. Kita: Ultra-high flux pinning properties of BaMO3-doped YBa2Cu3O7-x thin films (M = Zr, Sn). Supercond. Sci. Technol. 21, 32002 (2008).
A. Ichinose, P. Mele, T. Horide, K. Matsumoto, G. Goto, M. Mukaida, R. Kita, Y. Yoshida, and S. Horii: Microstructures of REBa2Cu3Oy adding BaZrO3 or BaSnO3. Physica C 468, 1627 (2008).
J. Narayan and B.C. Larson: Domain epitaxy: A unified paradigm for thin film growth. J. Appl. Phys. 93, 278 (2003).
M.G. Blamire, J.L. MacManus-Driscoll, N.D. Mathur, and Z.H. Barber: The materials science of functional oxide thin films. Adv. Mater. 21, 3827 (2009).
S.R. Foltyn, H. Wang, L. Civale, B. Maiorov, and Q.X. Jia: The role of interfacial defects in enhancing the critical current density of YBa2Cu3O7-δ coatings. Supercond. Sci. Technol. 22, 125002 (2009).
This research was funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (Contract No.: FA9550-09-1-0114), and AFRL–Propulsion Directorate. The TEM characterization effort was supported by National Science Foundation (NSF-0846504). J.H. Kwon was supported by the Undergraduate Summer Research program at Texas A&M University.
About this article
Cite this article
Zhu, Y., Tsai, CF., Wang, J. et al. Interfacial defects distribution and strain coupling in the vertically aligned nanocomposite YBa2Cu3O7-X/ BaSnO3 thin films. Journal of Materials Research 27, 1763–1769 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1557/jmr.2012.125