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Reliable single grain growth of (RE)BCO bulk superconductors with enhanced superconducting properties

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We review recent progress in the successful and reliable fabrication of large grain (RE)BCO and (RE)BCO-Ag bulk high temperature superconductors by three primary processing methodologies: top-seeded melt growth (TSMG), top-seeded infiltration growth (TSIG) and a combined processing route comprising both TSMG and TSIG. Several significant and useful modifications have been made to these processing routes over the recent years in order to grow (RE)BCO single grains reliably and to enhance their superconducting properties. With respect to the reliable growth of (RE)BCO single grains, we have further developed the so-called buffer technique for reliable seeding, which includes identifying and providing an appropriate liquid-rich phase at the bottom of pellet. This modification has proved to be critical to the success of the newly-developed fabrication techniques presented here. In addition, we have addressed existing and significant challenges in the context of improving the superconducting properties of the bulk samples by controlling the microstructures of single grain materials (porosity and the RE-211 distribution, in particular) and by suppressing the extent of RE/Ba substitution during grain growth. Finally, we provide a short summary of the potential pathways towards realising practical applications of these technologically important materials in the near future.



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Superconductor Science and Technology

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Institute of Physics Publishing


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Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/P00962X/1)
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/K02910X/1)
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