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Synthesis of YBCO Superconductors Using Low-Pressure Processing

Brookhaven National Laboratory

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Technology Marketing Summary

YBa2Cu3O7 (YBCO) is an especially useful second-generation high-temperature superconductor because it becomes superconducting at temperatures above that of liquid nitrogen. Unfortunately, YBCO synthesis is often complex, expensive, and difficult to execute on industrial scales. Now, this practical, scalable, and low-cost technique can produce large YBCO tapes and wires for use in high-field magnets or to carry electrical current.


This method uses a precursor material containing a rare earth element, an alkaline earth element, fluorine, and copper. The precursor is heat treated at about 500ºC in the presence of oxygen and water vapor at sub-atmospheric pressure to form a crystalline structure, which is then annealed in oxygen to form the superconducting film. Films between 50 nm and 5 µm can be grown by this method at a rate of about 0.1 nm/s to about 2 nm/s. The method produces bi-axially oriented high-temperature superconductor films when a buffered metal substrate is employed.


The low pressures used in this process allow for industrial scale manufacturing, and the low water vapor partial pressure allows for growth on metal substrates. The high quality of the resulting films makes them suitable for use as fault current limiters in addition to magnets and current-carrying wires.

Applications and Industries

Applications include the low-cost manufacture of superconducting wires and tapes for conducting electrical current or producing high magnetic fields.

Patents and Patent Applications
ID Number
Title and Abstract
Primary Lab
Patent 6,794,339
Synthesis of YBa2CU3O7 using sub-atmospheric processing
The present invention is a method of forming thick films of crystalline YBa.sub.2 Cu.sub.3 O.sub.7 that includes forming a precursor film comprising barium fluoride (BaF.sub.2), yttrium (Y) and copper (Cu). The precursor film is heat-treated at a temperature above C. in the presence of oxygen, nitrogen and water vapor at sub-atmospheric pressure to form a crystalline structure. The crystalline structure is then annealed at about C. in the presence of oxygen to form the crystalline YBa.sub.2 Cu.sub.3 O.sub.7 film. The YBa.sub.2 Cu.sub.3 O.sub.7 film formed by this method has a resistivity of from about 100 to about 600 .mu.Ohm-cm at room temperature and a critical current density measured at 77 K in a magnetic field of 1 Tesla of about 1.0.times.10.sup.5 Ampere per square centimeter (0.1 MA/cm.sup.2) or greater.
Brookhaven National Laboratory 09/21/2004
Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
BSA 00-28ProposedAvailable12/30/201312/30/2013

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To: Avijit Sen<>