Among the few
high temperature superconductors that can be used at liquid nitrogen
temperatures, those based on the YBa2Cu3O7
structure are by far the most promising for power applications involving high
magnetic fields. Nevertheless, there is still a need for enhancing the
performance of these materials in view of devices such as windmill generators
that require fields of 4T or more. Using a mixture of various rare-earths
instead of Y is known to yield promising results for superconducting levitation.
We would like to explore the potential of such element combinations for
improving the critical current density of the long wires necessary for power
cables, transformers, high field magnets, etc. especially under working
conditions involving high magnetic fields.
The aim of
this project is therefore to explore the best ways of engineering (Nd,Sm,Eu,Gd)Ba2Cu3O7
films to optimize the defect landscape in view of maximum performance under
magnetic fields in excess of 4T. For this purpose, you will try to manufacture
thin films with a high degree of preferential microstructural orientation and
introduce suitable artificial defects able to withstand the drift of the
magnetic field flux lines penetrating the superconductor under operating
During this project you are going to:
high temperature superconducting films by chemical solution deposition on
single crystal substrates.
microstructural characterization of your samples by means of X-ray diffraction,
optical and electron microscopy.
magnetization measurements at cryogenic temperatures under magnetic field to
evaluate the superconducting performance of your samples.
experimental results using state of the art theoretical models.
At the end of
this project you will be able to:
experimental characterization tools (X-ray diffraction, electron microscopy,
magnetization measurements) and explain their basic principles as well as
evaluate your results.
between microstructure and performance.
efficient literature search and compare your own results to published data.
results to a scientific audience under conditions equivalent to an international
draft of a scientific publication.