Current-voltage characteristics, Josephson radiation spectra, and critical current versus magnetic-field dependences were measured in epitaxial, c-axis YBa2Cu3O7 step-edge Josephson junctions (SEJs) on SrTiO3 and LaAlO3 substrates with various step angles α. The results were correlated with microstructural data to determine the origin of the observed weak-link behavior. It was shown that on steps with α≳45°the SEJ is a series connection of two weak links unambiguously correlated with the occurrence of two 90°tilt grain boundaries. On steep steps, α≥70°, the boundary at the upper step edge has, on average, the (103) symmetry, while the lower one is predominantly of the basal-plane-faced (010)(001) type. Correspondingly, one link is weaker than the other, with the weaker link originating on the (010)(001) boundary. However, others have shown that analogous grain boundaries in planar (103) and biepitaxial a-axis/c-axis films do not exhibit a strong magnetic-field dependence of critical current, which is characteristic of a weak link. Hence, it is proposed that the weak-link behavior of boundaries on step edges originates from their defect structure.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)