Comparison of Mechanical and Superconducting Properties of YBaCuO and GdBaCuO Single Grains Prepared by Top-Seeded Melt Growth


It is known that mechanical properties of a high-temperature superconductor (HTS) can affect the superconducting behaviour of the material. In this study, the mechanical and basic superconducting properties of single-domain YBaCuO and GdBaCuO were determined and compared. The bulk single-grain superconductor samples were prepared by top-seeded melt growth process. Distribution of trapped fields in the samples was mapped using the Hall probe technique. Levitation force was assessed using a dynamometer. Phase composition of the samples, was characterised by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) measurements. Microstructure was studied using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and optical microscopy. Microhardness and comprehensive strength of the prepared samples were measured at a room temperature. The GdBaCuO superconductor has shown higher average hardness than the YBCO sample; higher fragility was also observed by comprehensive strength measurement of both types. Maximum trapped magnetic field was 0.65 T at 77 K in the case of a Gd-based material. In comparison with YBaCuO, the values of the trapped magnetic field and levitation force of GdBaCuO were higher. The results obtained can be useful for rare earth element (RE) superconductor device engineering as well as for the research in the field of superconducting ceramics.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9


  1. 1.

    Freyhardt, H.C.: YBAcuo and REBacuo HTS for applications. Int. J. Appl. Ceram. Technol. 4(3), 203–216 (2007)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Bartůněk, V., Smrčková, O.: Preparation of the silver-superconductor composite by deposition of the silver nanoparticles in the bismuth cuprate superconductor. J. Supercond. Nov. Magn. 24(4), 1241–1244 (2011)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Liyanawaduge, N.P., Kumar, A., Karunarathne, B.S.B., Malik, A., Kishan, H., Awana, V.P.S.: Inter- and intra-granular interactions of REBa2cu3o7– δ, RE: Eu, Gd, Ho and Er. J. Supercond. Nov. Magn. 24(6), 1893–1899 (2011)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Konstantopoulou, K., Shi, Y.H., Dennis, A.R., Durrell, J.H., Pastor, J.Y., Cardwell, D.A.: Mechanical characterization of GdBCO/Ag and YBCO single grains fabricated by top-seeded melt growth at 77 and 300 K. Supercond. Sci. Technol. 27(11), 115011 (2014)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Koshizuka, N., Tajima, S.: Advances in superconductivity XI. In: Proceedings of the 11th International Symposium on Superconductivity (ISS’98), November 16–19, 1998, Fukuoka. vol. sv. 1. Springer (1999)

  6. 6.

    Fujishiro, H., Ikebe, M., Kohayashi, S., Noto, K., Yokoyama, K.: Additional effect of Ag and 211 phase on thermal expansion of REBaCuO bulk superconductor (RE =sm, Y). Cryogenics 43(8), 477–481 (2003)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Muralidhar, M., Murakami, M.: Effects of Gd2BaCuO5 addition on critical current characteristics in melt-processed (Nd, Eu, Gd)–Ba–Cu–O. Physica C: Superconductivity 309(1–2), 43–48 (1998)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Leblond-Harnois, C., Monot, I., Desgardin, G.: Effect of a cerium/tin doping mixture on the texturing process and on the superconducting properties of top seeded melt textured YBacuo. J. Mater. Sci. 35(21), 5407–5413 (2000)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Kumar, N.D., Shi, Y., Zhai, W., Dennis, A.R., Durrell, J.H., Cardwell, D.A.: Buffer pellets for high-yield, top-seeded melt growth of large grain Y-Ba-Cu-O superconductors. Cryst. Growth Des. 15(3), 1472–1480 (2015)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Hikihara, T., Isozumi, G.: Modeling of lateral force-displacement hysteresis caused by local flux pinning. Physica C: Superconductivity 270(1–2), 68–74 (1996)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Zhou, J., Zhang, X., Zhou, Y.: An improvement of frozen-image model and its application in a HTS levitation system. Theor. Appl. Mech. Lett. 1(3), 031001 (2011)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Qin, M.J., Li, G., Liu, H.K., Dou, S.X., Brandt, E.H.: Calculation of the hysteretic force between a superconductor and a magnet. Phys. Rev. B 66(2), 024516 (2002)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Ozogul, O.: Calculation of levitation force using a critical-state model. J Supercond Nov Magn 25(2), 221–225 (2011)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Hiroyuki, F., Masahiko, K., Kazuya, Y., Tetsuo, O., Koshichi, N.: Generated heat during pulse field magnetizing for REBaCuO (RE = Gd, Sm, Y) bulk superconductors with different pinning abilities. Supercond. Sci. Technol. 18(1), 158 (2005)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Zablotskii, V., Jirsa, M., Petrenko, P.: Relaxation in superconductors with large normal defects. Supercond. Sci. Technol. 18(1), 200 (2005)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Ren, Y., Weinstein, R., Liu, J., Sawh, R.P., Foster, C.: Damage caused by magnetic pressure at high trapped field in quasi-permanent magnets composed of melt-textured Y-Ba-Cu-O superconductor. Phys. C 251(1-2), 15–26 (1995)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Fujimoto, H.: Preparation and mechanical properties of large single domain GdBaCuO superconductor with low void density. IEEE Trans. Appl. Supercond. 19(3), 2933–2936 (2009)

    ADS  Article  MathSciNet  Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Gorur, O., Yildirim, G., Altintas, S.P., Terzioglu, C.: Role of Gd content in Cu(1) and Cu(2) sites on electrical, microstructural, physical, mechanical and superconducting properties of YBa2cu3-xgdxo7-delta ceramics. J. Mater. Sci. - Mater. Electron. 24(6), 1842–1854 (2013)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Katagiri, K., Murakami, A., Sato, T., Okudera, T., Sakai, N., Muralidhar, M., Murakami, M.: Stress–strain characteristics and fracture surface morphology of (Sm, Gd)–Ba–Cu–O bulk superconductor. Physica C: Superconductivity 378–381(Part 1), 722–726 (2002)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Fujishiro, H., Katagiri, K., Murakami, A., Yoshino, Y., Noto, K.: Database for thermal and mechanical properties of REBaCuO bulks. Physica C: Superconductivity 426–431(Part 1), 699–704 (2005)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    Hlasek, T., Plechacek, V.: Trapped field in different shapes of RE-ba-cu-o single grains for the use in production of superconducting bearings. IEEE Trans. Appl. Supercond. 25(3), 1–4 (2015)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. 22.

    Tsuchimoto, M., Takashima, H.: Stress distribution and shape factor of a disk trapped field magnet. IEEE Trans. Appl. Supercond. 11(1), 1992–1995 (2001)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. 23.

    Zhang, P.X., Zhou, L., Ji, P., Blan, W.M., Wu, X.Z., Lai, Z.H.: The effect of annealing on stacking faults and Jc values of PMP processed YBCO. Supercond. Sci. Technol. 8(1), 15 (1995)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  24. 24.

    Douine, B., Bonnard, C.H., Sirois, F., Berger, K., Kameni, A., Leveque, J.: Determination of Jc and n value of HTS pellets by measurement and simulation of magnetic field penetration. IEEE Trans. Appl. Supercond. 25(4), 1–8 (2015)

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


This work was partially supported by the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Czech Republic under Grant MPO TIP FR-TI4/184 and also by the specific university research (MSMT no. 20/2015).

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jan Pinc.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Pinc, J., Bartůněk, V., Kubásek, J. et al. Comparison of Mechanical and Superconducting Properties of YBaCuO and GdBaCuO Single Grains Prepared by Top-Seeded Melt Growth. J Supercond Nov Magn 29, 1773–1778 (2016).

Download citation


  • Mechanical properties
  • YBCO
  • GdBCO
  • Vickers hardness
  • Comprehensive strength
  • Superconductor
  • Levitation force
  • Trapped field