Transformational dynamics of BZO and BHO nanorods imposed by Y2O3 nanoparticles for improved isotropic pinning in YBa2Cu3O7−δ thin films
An elastic strain model was applied to evaluate the rigidity of the c-axis aligned one-dimensional artificial pinning centers (1D-APCs) in YBa2Cu3O7-δ matrix films. Higher rigidity was predicted for BaZrO3 1D-APCs than that of the BaHfO3 1D-APCs. This suggests a secondary APC doping of Y2O3 in the 1D-APC/YBa2Cu3O7-δ nanocomposite films would generate a stronger perturbation to the c-axis alignment of the BaHfO3 1D-APCs and therefore a more isotropic magnetic vortex pinning landscape. In order to experimentally confirm this, we have made a comparative study of the critical current density Jc (H, θ, T) of 2 vol.% BaZrO3 + 3 vol.%Y2O3 and 2 vol.%BaHfO3 + 3 vol.%Y2O3 double-doped (DD) YBa2Cu3O7-δ films deposited at their optimal growth conditions. A much enhanced isotropic pinning was observed in the BaHfO3 DD samples. For example, at 65 K and 9.0 T, the variation of the Jc across the entire θ range from θ=0 (H//c) to θ=90 degree (H//ab) is less than 18% for BaHfO3 DD films, in contrast to about 100% for the BaZrO3 DD counterpart. In addition, lower α values from the Jc(H) ∼ H-α fitting were observed in the BaHfO3 DD films in a large θ range away from the H//c-axis. Since the two samples have comparable Jc values at H//c-axis, the improved isotropic pinning in BaHfO3 DD films confirms the theoretically predicted higher tunability of the BaHfO3 1D-APCs in APC/YBa2Cu3O7-δ nanocomposite films.