Properties of MgB2 bulk

Research paper by T. A. Prikhna

Indexed on: 24 Dec '09Published on: 24 Dec '09Published in: Physics - Superconductivity


The review considers bulk MgB2-based materials in terms of their structure, superconducting and mechanical properties. Superconducting transition temperatures of 34.5-39.4 K, critical current densities of 1.8-1.0 x E6 A/sq.cm in self field and 103 in 8 T field at 20 K, 3-1.5xE5 A/sq. cm in self field at 35 K, HC2 15 T at 22 K and Hirr 13 T at 20 K have been registered for polycrystalline materials. As TEM and SEM study show, dispersed higher borides and rather big amount (5-14 percents) of oxygen (bonded simultaneously with Mg and B) can be present in the structure even if X-ray pattern contains only reflexes of well crystallized MgB2 with traces of MgO. Materials with such a rather high oxygen content demonstrated high superconducting characteristics. At present it is established that nanosized MgB12 grains provide effective pinning in polycrystalline material. Besides, additions can introduce the MgB2 structure inducing disorder in lattice sites (for example, C substitution for B). The disorder increases the normal state resistivity, magnetic penetration depth, and the upper critical field, but reduces the transition temperature and anisotropy. It is highly probable that the additives (Ti, Ta, Zr, SiC) together with synthesis or sintering temperature can affect the distribution of oxygen and hydrogen in the material structure as well as the formation of grains of higher borides, thus influencing superconducting properties. The superconductivity of materials with matrix close to MgB12 in stoichiometry (Tc=37 K) has been defined.