Growth, nanostructure and vortex pinning in superconducting YBa2Cu3O7 thin films based on trifluoroacetate solutions
X. Obradors, T. Puig Molina, S. Ricart, M. Coll Bau, J. Gazquez Alabart, A. Palau Masoliver and X. Granados
Superconductor Science and Technology 25, 123001 (2012)
Chemical solution deposition (CSD) is a very competitive technique to obtain epitaxial films and multilayers of high quality with controlled nanostructures. Based on the strong attractiveness from the cost point of view, the production of long length coated conductors based on the CSD approach is being extensively developed. The trifluoroacetate route (TFA) is the most widely used route to achieve epitaxial YBa2Cu3O7 (YBCO) layers with high critical currents, however a deep understanding of all the individual consecutive processing steps, as well as their mutual influence and relationship, is required to achieve superconducting materials with high performance. In this work, we review advances in the knowledge of all the steps relevant to the preparation of YBCO thin films based on TFA precursors as a CSD methodology: solution preparation and deposition, pyrolysis processes, intermediate phase evolution, nucleation and growth phenomena, microstructural evolution and its influence on percolating supercurrents, as well as vortex pinning by natural existing defects. Finally, we discuss the open issues still existing in the TFA approach, particularly that of film nanostructuration, and we provide a future outlook for this outstanding methodology.