skip to main content


Title: Superconducting NbTiN thin films for superconducting radio frequency accelerator cavity applications

Current superconducting radio frequency technology, used in various particle accelerator facilities across the world, is reliant upon bulk niobium superconducting cavities. Due to technological advancements in the processing of bulk Nb cavities, the facilities have reached accelerating fields very close to a material-dependent limit, which is close to 50 MV/m for bulk Nb. One possible solution to improve upon this fundamental limitation was proposed a few years ago by Gurevich [Appl. Phys. Lett. 88, 012511 (2006)], consisting of the deposition of alternating thin layers of superconducting and insulating materials on the interior surface of the cavities. The use of type-II superconductors with Tc > Tc Nb and H c > HcNb, (e.g., Nb 3Sn, NbN, or NbTiN) could potentially greatly reduce the surface resistance (Rs) and enhance the accelerating field, if the onset of vortex penetration is increased above Hc Nb, thus enabling higher field gradients. Although Nb 3Sn may prove superior, it is not clear that it can be grown as a suitable thin film for the proposed multilayer approach, since very high temperature is typically required for its growth, hindering achieving smooth interfaces and/or surfaces. On the other hand, since NbTiN has a smaller lower critical field (Hmore » c1) and higher critical temperature (T c) than Nb and increased conductivity compared to NbN, it is a promising candidate material for this new scheme. Here, the authors present experimental results correlating filmmicrostructure with superconducting properties on NbTiN thin film coupon samples while also comparing filmsgrown with targets of different stoichiometry. In conclusion, it is worth mentioning that the authors have achieved thin films with bulk-like lattice parameter and transition temperature while also achieving H c1 values larger than bulk for films thinner than their London penetration depths.« less
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [2]
  1. College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA (United States)
  2. Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (TJNAF), Newport News, VA (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
JLAB-ACC-16-2262; DOE/OR/23177-3926
Journal ID: ISSN 0734-2101; JVTAD6
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology. A, Vacuum, Surfaces and Films
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 34; Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 0734-2101
American Vacuum Society
Research Org:
Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, Newport News, VA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY; superconducting thin films; thin film growth; niobium; lattice constants; microstructural properties
OSTI Identifier: