The influence of growth conditions on the microstructure and critical currents of TFA-MOD YBa2Cu3O7 films
T. Puig, J. C. Gonzalez, A. Pomar, N. Mestres, O. Castano, M. Coll, J. Gazquez, F. Sandiumenge, S. Pinol and X. Obradors
Supercond. Sci. Technol. 18, 1141-1150 (2005)
The influence of three processing parameters, temperature, gas flow rate and water pressure, on the YBa2Cu3O7 film growth on LaAlO3 single-crystal substrates from trifluoroacetate precursors has been investigated and the optimal film processing conditions to achieve high critical currents have been determined. We have found that the growth conditions maximizing the critical current density are those where the nucleation of a-axis oriented grains is minimized, as determined by μ-Raman spectroscopy. Under these conditions the normal state resistivity is very near to that of single crystals because a vanishingly small film porosity is achieved. Transmission electron microscopy analysis of films quenched from the growth temperature gives some hints for understanding the mechanism linking the film porosity with the concentration of a-axis grains. A cross-linked influence of different processing parameters, such as temperature and water pressure, or water pressure and gas flow, has been demonstrated. The optimal growth temperatures are 790–830 °C, but at these growth temperatures, the critical current density is still dependent on the gas flow rate and water pressure. The optimal processing ranges are a compromise between two different competing phenomena influencing the quality of the films: inhomogeneous film formation due to HF gas stagnancy at small nominal growth rates (low gas flow rate or water pressure) and perturbed crystallinity at high gas flow rates or water pressures.