Nb3Ge and Nb3Sn Films Prepared by High-Rate Magnetron Sputtering

  • R. T. Kampwirth
  • C. T. Wu
  • J. W. Hafstrom
Part of the Advances in Cryogenic Engineering book series (ACRE, volume 24)


During the past several years, considerable effort has been put into the fabrication of A15 superconductors, with particular emphasis on Nb3Sn and Nb3Ge. Nb3Ge probably cannot be produced by bulk fabrication or diffusion processes, which are successful with Nb3Sn, due to the metastable nature of the high critical temperature A15 phase, and thus must be “frozen in” at high temperatures by methods such as chemical vapor deposition (CVD), physical vapor deposition (PVD), or low-energy sputtering. The latter technique has produced Nb3Ge films with the highest critical temperature, T c , and best self-field critical current density, J c . A variation on the low-energy sputtering technique is discussed, wherein a magnetic field in the vicinity of the sputtering target alters the plasma characteristics in such a way that deposition rates are enhanced (up to 1 µm/min) at very low operating voltages (≤400V dc). Then sputter deposition is competitive with CVD. This technique is capable of producing very high quality Nb3Sn films and Nb3Ge films with T c ≥21.5 K. By suitable adjustment of the sputtering parameters, it is possible to alter the microstructure and surface characteristics. The effect of controlled amounts of oxygen in the sputtering gas on the T c of Nb3Ge is described.


Sticking Coefficient High Critical Temperature Chemical Vapor Deposition Film Transition Temperature Width Versus Potential Drop 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



lattice parameter


external magnetic field


upper critical field


self-field critical current density


partial pressure of oxygen




critical temperature, onset of superconductivity


sputtering gas temperature


deposition temperature

Greek symbols


transition temperature width




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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. T. Kampwirth
    • 1
  • C. T. Wu
    • 1
  • J. W. Hafstrom
    • 1
  1. 1.Argonne National LaboratoryArgonneUSA

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