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A structural study of the YBa2Cu3O7−x superconductor system

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X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), X-ray diffractometry (XRD) and analytical scanning electron microscopy have been employed to investigate the structure and microstructure together with the chemical nature of the YBa2Cu3O7−x superconductor system at different stages of preparation. XRD studies showed that the original mixture assumed a structure quite similar to that of the final superconductor phase after being sintered at about 900° C in air. While XPS results showed no evidence for copper in any valency other than 2, X-ray-induced Auger features confirmed the existence of monovalent copper at low temperatures. A small shoulder on the O1s spectrum in the final compound proved to be variant with the temperature. The intensity of this shoulder increased relative to the main O1s peak by lowering the temperature. This is believed to be due to the formation of monovalent copper on the top of the sample. Microstructural studies together with point analysis and X-ray mapping showed the existence of different phases in the final compound.

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Hashemi, T., Al-Dhhan, Z.T., Golestani-Fard, F. et al. A structural study of the YBa2Cu3O7−x superconductor system. J Mater Sci 23, 4513–4516 (1988).

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  • Auger
  • Analytical Scanning Electron Microscopy
  • Superconductor Phase
  • Small Shoulder
  • Final Compound