The technique of transmission electron energy loss spectrometry (EELS) in parallel detection has been utilized to analyze the fine structures associated with the O K and Cu L3 absorption edges of recently discovered Y1-xCaxSr2Cu2GaO7 (0.1 ≤ x ≤ 0.4) series of compounds, which exhibit superconductivity when annealed under high-pressure oxygen atmosphere. We find subtle but significant changes in EELS spectral features of nonsuperconducting and superconducting specimens of these compounds. A broad pre-edge feature is observed below the O K absorption edge, at about 528.2 eV which emerges with Ca-doping alone. Evidence is presented for another O K secondary pre-edge feature, at about 1.1 eV below the first O K pre-edge feature in only those specimens which have undergone high-pressure oxygen treatment (i.e. superconducting specimens). We interpret the O K pre-edge feature as due to formation of holes on oxygen sites and propose that the first broad pre-edge feature (at 528.2 eV) is associated with holes on oxygen sites other than the CuO2 planes, which are responsible for normal conductivity. The second smaller pre-edge feature (at 527.1 eV) is most probably associated with holes in the CuO2 planes, which are associated with superconductivity in this system. The presence of a secondary smaller O K pre-edge feature in the superconducting specimens appears to correlate well with a broad shoulder on the high energy side of the Cu L3 edge. The results are interpreted in terms of oxidation of CuO2 planes through charge transfer between copper and oxygen in the CuO2 planes, i.e. covalent mixing of O and Cu orbitals at the Fermi level as a result of high oxygen pressure annealing.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering