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Nanotechweb.org Nov, 8, 2012
Earlier this year, researchers from the Superconducting Materials and Large Scale Nanostructuration Group based at the Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC), Spain, in collaboration with researchers from France, Belgium, Israel and the US, proposed in Nature Materials that this response is associated with the generation of atomic-level strain in nanoregions within the superconducting matrix. Despite the challenges involved, there is a strong need to widely explore the immense capabilities associated with these new types of superconducting nanocomposite materials and to implement them cost effectively in long-length conductor processes.
Now, researchers have struck at the heart of this issue by performing a thorough study of the particular case of YBa2Cu3O7 nanocomposite thin films with spontaneous segregated ternary oxide nanoparticles formed by a low-cost and scalable chemical solution deposition technique. Reporting their results in the journal Superconductor Science and Technology, the scientists have examined the material in detail, including the orientation of the nanosized particles, the type of shared interface with the superconductor, and the strain generated within the matrix identified from scanning transmission electron microscopy and advanced X-ray diffraction analysis. These aspects are then correlated with the superconducting properties of the sample.