Journal of Materials Research

The effect of grain size on microstructure and stress relaxation in polycrystalline Y1Ba2Cu3O7-δ

View publication


We have used transmission electron microscopy and optical microscopy to examine the effect that grain size and heat treatment have on twinning and microcracking in polycrystalline Y1Ba2Cu3O7-δ. It is shown that isothermal oxygenation heat treatments produce twin structures consisting of parallel twins, with a characteristic spacing that increases with increasing grain size. Slow cooling through the temperature range where the orthorhombic-to-tetragonal transformation induces twinning, however, produces a structure consisting of a hierarchical arrangement of intersecting twins, the scale of which appears to be independent of grain size. It is also shown that the microcracking induced by anisotropic changes in grain dimensions on cooling or during oxygenation can be suppressed if the grain size of the material is kept below about 1 μm. The results are examined in the light of current models for transformation twinning and microcracking and the models used to access the effect other processing variables such as oxygen content, doping or heat treatment may have on the microstructure of Y1Ba2Cu3O7-δ. © 1989, Materials Research Society. All rights reserved.