High Critical-Current Density in the Heavily Pb-Doped Bi2Sr2CaCu2O8+δ Superconductor: Generation of Efficient Pinning Centers

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Science  02 May 1997:
Vol. 276, Issue 5313, pp. 770-773
DOI: 10.1126/science.276.5313.770

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Critical-current density (J c) is a parameter of primary importance for potential applications of high-temperature copper oxide superconductors. It is limited principally by the breakdown of zero-resistive current due to thermally activated flux flow at high temperatures and high magnetic fields. One promising method to overcome this limitation is to introduce efficient pinning centers into crystals that can suppress the flux flow. A marked increase in J c was observed in Bi2Sr2CaCu2O8+δ(Bi-2212) single crystals doped with a large amount of Pb. By electron microscopy, characteristic microstructures were revealed that probably underlie the observed enhancement in J c: thin (10 to 50 nanometers), platelike domains having a modulation-free structure appeared with spacings of 50 to 100 nanometers along theb axis.

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