AC susceptibility of grains and matrix for high-T<inf>c</inf> superconductors

D. X. Chen, A. Sanchez, T. Puig, L. M. Martinez, J. S. Muñoz

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Several 123-YBCO superconducting samples cut from the same pellet have been studied by measuring AC susceptibility at 77 K as a function of the applied field amplitude Hm. Two contributions from inter- and intragranular supercurrents to the susceptibility are clearly observed with Hm up to 30 kA/m. The partial susceptibilities for the matrix, χm and χm, come from the intergranular supercurrents and show a systematic sample thickness dependence. Although Kim's critical-state model explains the essential features of these susceptibilities and can be used to determine Jc as a function of local internal field Hi, the actual Jc(Hi) is more complex, with a concave segment at low fields. The partial susceptibilities for the grains, χg and χg, do not have sample thickness dependence, and the maximum χg is much lower than predicted by the critical-state model. This is shown to be related to the bee-waist shape of the hysteresis loop, which is due to the existence of a lower critical field. The lower critical fields of the grains (Hc1g) and the matrix (Hc1m), and the effective volume fraction of the grains ({cauchy integral}g) are determined on the basis of the critical-state model. The lower limit for Hc1g is found to be around 4 kA/m, but Hc1m cannot be detected for Hm as low as 40 A/m. The results have been compared with some published weak-link models. A grain-cluster model is proposed for solving the problem of over high {cauchy integral}g. © 1990.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)652-667
JournalPhysica C: Superconductivity and its Applications
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 1990


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