Here we compare the microstructure and flux pinning properties of polycrystalline YBa2Cu3O7-d (Y-123 or YBCO) containing either Al2O3 or Zn0.95Mn0.05O nanoparticles. Samples were prepared using a standard solid-state reaction process, and nanoparticles were added up to a concentration of 0.1 wt%. The crystal structure, microstructure, electrical and magnetic properties were analyzed using X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and electrical resistivity and DC magnetization measurements, respectively. TEM observations showed that the addition of Zn0.95Mn0.05O resulted in a high density of fine twins and a variety of interacting microstructures, while Al2O3 addition resulted in a high density of Al-rich nanoscale inhomogeneities embedded in the Y-123 matrix. Flux pinning forces were determined, and predominant pinning mechanisms in the prepared samples were proposed. We evaluated the superconducting properties of YBCO considering the effects of adding insulating or magnetic nanoparticles.
Journal of Low Temperature Physics – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 23, 2018