Shock wave synthesis and processing of high temperature superconductors with defect microstructures

Z. Iqbal, N. N. Thadhani, K. V. Rao, R. Puzniak, R. Sharma, B. L. Ramakrishna, H. Eckhardt, F. J. Owens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The tetragonal (T c=55 K) and orthorhombic (non-superconducting) Tl2Ba2CuO6 (Tl 2201) phases have been synthesized by a ca 20 GPa planar shock wave in a microsecond time frame. Because of local rapid quench rates (up to 106 K/s) defects related to metastable phases are frozen in the sample. In the 2201 phase the predominant defect identified by high resolution lattice imaging corresponds to a Tl-Ba-Cu-Tl-Cu (Tl 1212) phase which is metastable but can be synthesized via a low temperature reaction. Defects of this type may account for the enhanced flux trapping observed in the material using field modulated microwave absorption. Attempts at shock synthesizing the more complex Tl2Ba2CaCu2O8 and Tl2Ba2Ca2Cu3O10 phases are also discussed. Shock processing pre-synthesized YBa2Cu3O7 powder in the radial geometry followed by an O2 anneal at 890 C produces near-theoretical density cylinders that sustain inter-grain critical currents at zero field of 1350 and 750 amps/cm2 at 60 and 77 K respectively. The magnetic field dependence of the critical current and the magnitude of flux-pinning in this material relative to sintered pellets are enhanced by a factor of 2-3. Preliminary investigations of the defect microstructure of this material are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-142
Number of pages8
JournalBulletin of Materials Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1991
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials


  • Shock wave synthesis
  • defect microstructures
  • superconductors


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