Preparation and Characterization of Nanometer Grained High Temperature Superconducting High-Quality Epitaxial Bi-2223 Thin Films Grown by DC Sputtering

Research paper by A. Salem, A. E. Al-Salami, K. A. Ziq, H. Adrian

Indexed on: 12 Oct '10Published on: 12 Oct '10Published in: Journal of Superconductivity and Novel Magnetism


Bi2Sr2Ca2Cu3O10+δ HTSC epitaxial thin films with thickness in the order of 6.0 nm were prepared onto (100) aligned SrTiO3 single-crystal substrates by DC sputtering from stoichiometric targets. As-grown samples were characterized by X-ray diffraction, AC-susceptibility and scanning electron microscopy. X-ray diffraction patterns show that all obtained superconducting thin films were c-axis oriented with a Bi-2223 phase. All reflections (except the substrate ones) can be assigned to the (00l) reflections of the film material (h=k=0, l≠0), indicating that the films were grown preferentially with the c-axis normal to the film plane. In order to investigate the crystal quality of these Bi-2223 films, the rocking curves of the (0012) peaks were explored by ω-scans. The rocking curve of the (0012) reflection had a full width at half maximum (FWHM) of 0.30°. This demonstrates that our prepared Bi-2223 thin films have good crystalline quality and high degree of c-axis orientation. The grain size has well known important effects in the magnetic, optical, and electrical properties of metals and alloys. High temperature superconducting thin films, obtained in this work, have nanometer grain size. The mean size of the grains of the samples were determined by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and found to be in the order of 34.8 nm. The superconducting transitions temperature of several Bi-2223 samples is about 103 K. Surface morphology of the films and chemical composition were studied using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive X-ray microanalysis (EDX).