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Title: On the role of precursor powder composition in controlling microstructure, flux pinning, and the critical current density of Ag/Bi$$_2$$Sr$$_2$$CaCu$$_2$$O$$_x$$ conductors

Precursor powder composition is known to strongly affect the critical current density (J c) of Ag/Bi$$_2$$Sr$$_2$$CaCu$$_2$$O$$_x$$ (Bi-2212) wires. However, reasons for such J c dependence have not yet been fully understood, compromising our ability to achieve further optimization. In this paper, we systematically examined superconducting properties, microstructural evolution and phase transformation, and grain boundaries of Bi-2212 conductors fabricated from precursor powders with a range of compositions using a combination of transport-current measurements, a quench technique to freeze microstructures at high temperatures during heat treatment, and scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM). Samples include both dip-coated tapes and round wires, among which a commercial round wire carries a high J c of 7600 A mm -2 at 4.2 K, self-field and 2600 A mm -2 at 4.2 K, 20 T, respectively. In the melt, this high-J c conductor, made using a composition of Bi 2.17Sr 1.94Ca 0.89Cu 2O x, contains a uniform dispersion of fine alkaline-earth cuprate (AEC) and copper-free solid phases, whereas several low-J c conductors contain large AEC particles. Such significant differences in the phase morphologies in the melt are accompanied by a drastic difference in the formation kinetics of Bi-2212 during recrystallization cooling. STEM studies show that Bi-2212 grain colonies in the high-J c conductors have a high density of Bi 2Sr 2CuO y (Bi-2201) intergrowths, whereas a low-J c conductor, made using Bi 2.14Sr 1.66Ca 1.24Cu 1.96O x , is nearly free of them. STEM investigation shows grain boundaries in low-J c conductors are often insulated with a Bi-rich amorphous phase. Finally, high-J c conductors also show higher flux-pinning strength, which we ascribe to their higher Bi-2201 intergrowth density.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [1]
  1. Fermi National Accelerator Lab. (FNAL), Batavia, IL (United States)
  2. North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States). Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0953-2048; 1517138
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Superconductor Science and Technology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 30; Journal Issue: 3; Journal ID: ISSN 0953-2048
IOP Publishing
Research Org:
Fermi National Accelerator Lab. (FNAL), Batavia, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), High Energy Physics (HEP) (SC-25)
Contributing Orgs:
North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States)
Country of Publication:
United States
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1338076