Role of diffusion-annealing temperature on the microstructural and superconducting properties of Cu-doped MgB2 superconductors
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This study deals with not only investigate the effect of the copper diffusion on the microstructural and superconducting properties of MgB2 superconducting samples employing dc resistivity as a function of temperature, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) measurements but also calculate the diffusion coefficient and the activation energy of copper for the first time. Electrical-resistivity measurements indicate that both the room-temperature resistivity value and zero resistivity transition temperatures (T (c) ) increase with increasing the diffusion-annealing temperature from 650 to 850 A degrees C. SEM measurements show that not only the surface morphology and grain connectivity improve but also the grain size of the samples increases with the increase in the diffusion-annealing temperature up to 850 A degrees C. As for the XRD results, all the samples contain the MgB2 phase only and exhibit the polycrystalline superconducting phase with more intensity of diffraction lines, leading to the increasement in the lattice parameter a and c. Additionally, the diffusion coefficient is observed to increase from 6.81 x 10(-8) to 4.69 x 10(-7) cm(2) s(-1) as the diffusion-annealing temperature increases, confirming that the Cu diffusion at lower temperatures is much less significant. Temperature dependence of the Cu diffusion coefficient is described with the aid of the Arrhenius relation D = 3.75 x 10(-3) exp (-1.15 +/- A 0.10 eV/k (B) T) and the corresponding activation energy of copper in MgB2 system is found to be about 1.15 eV. The possible reasons for the observed improvement in microstructural and superconducting properties of the samples due to Cu diffusion are also discussed.