The effect of size and aspect ratio on the trapped field properties of single grain, Y-Ba-Cu-O bulk superconductors
Bulk, single grain (RE)Ba2Cu3O7- [(RE)BCO, where RE is a rare earth element or yttrium] high temperature superconductors (HTS) exhibit significant potential for use in a variety of engineering applications due to their ability to trap large magnetic fields, which can be up to 10 times greater than those generated by conventional, iron-based magnets. Limitations on the maximum size to which single grains can be grown, however, are a major obstacle to the further development of these materials. Indeed, multiple samples are often required to achieve the required superconducting properties in particular applications. The geometry of bulk (RE)BCO single grains samples plays an important role in determining the superconducting properties of a given technical arrangement. In order to gain a better understanding of the full applications potential of bulk single grain superconductors, three, relatively long, cylindrical YBCO single grains of different diameters were fabricated and their trapped field and total trapped flux measured at 77 K as a function of sample height. The effects of size and aspect ratio of YBCO single grains on these key applied properties have been investigated experimentally and the results compared qualitatively with the predictions of an established theoretical model. Conclusions based on the trapped field measurements on a variety of single grain samples are presented in this study and the possibilities of using assemblies of smaller samples for engineering devices, in particular, are discussed.