Physical Review B

Ac susceptibility and grain-boundary pinning strengths in YBa2Cu3O7 and YBa2Cu2.985Ag0.015O7

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Estimation of the relative flux-pinning strengths of the matrix and the grain boundaries in polycrystalline oxide superconductors contributes to the understanding of their superconducting properties. Such understanding is further enhanced if measurements can be compared with those from materials with lattice substitution and doped grain boundaries. The ac susceptibilities of polycrystalline YBa2Cu3O7 and YBa2Cu2.985Ag0.015O7 were measured as functions of temperature, ac-magnetic-field strength, and frequency. The presence of two loss peaks in the imaginary part of the susceptibility, , was confirmed by comparison of ac and dc measurements obtained on materials with different microstructures. One peak in was found to be associated with the matrix transition and the other, at lower temperatures, with weak-link behavior at grain boundaries. The model by K.-H. M̈ller for the field dependence of the peaks was used to estimate and compare the pinning-force densities in the matrix and at weak links for both pure and Ag-substituted YBa2Cu3O7. In the temperature range (75 90 K) and field range (1 10 Oe, rms) studied, similar pinning forces, 6×108 T A m-2, for the matrix of the two materials were found, but the pinning-force densities at the weak links were higher for the Ag-substituted material by a factor of 1.5, i.e., 104 T A m-2 for YBa2Cu2.985Ag0.015O7 as compared to 6×103 T A m-2 for YBa2Cu3O7. © 1990 The American Physical Society.


01 May 1990


Physical Review B