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Nanoscale Stoichiometric Analysis of a High-Temperature Superconductor by Atom Probe Tomography

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 January 2017

Stella Pedrazzini*
Affiliation:
Department of Materials, University of Oxford, Parks Road, , Oxford OX1 3PH, UK
Andrew J. London
Affiliation:
Department of Materials, University of Oxford, Parks Road, , Oxford OX1 3PH, UK
Baptiste Gault
Affiliation:
Department of Materials, University of Oxford, Parks Road, , Oxford OX1 3PH, UK Max Planck Institute für Eisenforschung, Max-Planck-Straße 1, 40237 Düsseldorf, Germany
David Saxey
Affiliation:
Geoscience Atom Probe, Advanced Resource Characterisation Facility, John de Laeter Centre, Curtin University, Perth, WA 6102, Australia
Susannah Speller
Affiliation:
Department of Materials, University of Oxford, Parks Road, , Oxford OX1 3PH, UK
Chris R. M. Grovenor
Affiliation:
Department of Materials, University of Oxford, Parks Road, , Oxford OX1 3PH, UK
Mohsen Danaie
Affiliation:
Department of Materials, University of Oxford, Parks Road, , Oxford OX1 3PH, UK
Michael P. Moody
Affiliation:
Department of Materials, University of Oxford, Parks Road, , Oxford OX1 3PH, UK
Philip D. Edmondson
Affiliation:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Materials Science & Technology Division, 1 Bethel Valley Road, Oak Ridge, TN 37831, USA
Paul A. J. Bagot
Affiliation:
Department of Materials, University of Oxford, Parks Road, , Oxford OX1 3PH, UK
*

Abstract

The functional properties of the high-temperature superconductor Y1Ba2Cu3O7−δ (Y-123) are closely correlated to the exact stoichiometry and oxygen content. Exceeding the critical value of 1 oxygen vacancy for every five unit cells (δ>0.2, which translates to a 1.5 at% deviation from the nominal oxygen stoichiometry of Y7.7Ba15.3Cu23O54−δ) is sufficient to alter the superconducting properties. Stoichiometry at the nanometer scale, particularly of oxygen and other lighter elements, is extremely difficult to quantify in complex functional ceramics by most currently available analytical techniques. The present study is an analysis and optimization of the experimental conditions required to quantify the local nanoscale stoichiometry of single crystal yttrium barium copper oxide (YBCO) samples in three dimensions by atom probe tomography (APT). APT analysis required systematic exploration of a wide range of data acquisition and processing conditions to calibrate the measurements. Laser pulse energy, ion identification, and the choice of range widths were all found to influence composition measurements. The final composition obtained from melt-grown crystals with optimized superconducting properties was Y7.9Ba10.4Cu24.4O57.2.

Type
Materials Science (Nonmetals)
Copyright
© Microscopy Society of America 2017 

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