Superconducting properties of Gd-Ba-Cu-O single grains processed from a new, Ba-rich precursor compound
Gd-Ba-Cu-O (GdBCO) single grains have been previously melt-processed successfully in air using a generic Mg-Nd-Ba-Cu-O (Mg-NdBCO) seed crystal. Previous research has revealed that the addition of a small amount of BaO2 to the precursor powders prior to melt processing can suppress the formation of Gd/Ba solid solution, and lead to a significant improvement in superconducting properties of the single grains. Research into the effects of a higher Ba content on single grain growth, however, has been limited by the relatively small grain size in the earlier studies. This has been addressed by developing Ba-rich precursor compounds Gd-163 and Gd-143, fabricated specifically to enable the presence of greater concentrations of Ba during the melt process. In this study, we propose a new processing route for the fabrication of high performance GdBCO single grain bulk superconductors in air by enriching the precursor powder with these new Ba rich compounds. The influence of the addition of the new compounds on the microstructures and superconducting properties of GdBCO single grains is reported.