The formation, transport properties and microstructure of 45° [001] grain boundaries induced by epitaxy modification in YBa2Cu3O7-x thin films

B. V. Vuchic, K. L. Merkle*, P. M. Baldo, K. A. Dean, D. B. Buchholz, R. P.H. Chang, H. Zhang, L. D. Marks

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Tilt grain-boundary junctions with a 45° [001] misorientation were formed in YBa2Cu3O7-x (YBCO) thin films grown by pulsed organometallic beam epitaxy on (100) MgO substrates. The junctions were introduced at predetermined locations due to a modification of the orientation relation between the thin film and substrate following a low-energy argon ion irradiation of specific areas of the substrate surface prior to film deposition. Rutherford backscatter spectrometry and certain surface features observed by atomic force microscopy indicate that implantation of ions is necessary to cause the modified epitaxy. The low-temperature transport characteristics of individual isolated grain boundaries were determined by electromagnetic characterizations of the junction behavior. The same grain boundaries were examined by transmission electron microscopy and high-resolution electron microscopy and it was found that the boundaries are for the most part free of precipitates and well structured at the atomic scale. Regardless of the average grain boundary inclination, asymmetric (110)(100) facets dominate the microstructure of the junctions. Possible mechanisms for epitaxy modification and the transport properties in relation to the observed microstructure are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-90
Number of pages16
JournalPhysica C: Superconductivity and its applications
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Oct 10 1996


  • Critical current density
  • Electrical resistivity
  • Grain boundaries
  • HREM
  • Thin films

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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