Thin films of YBa2Cu3O7 and Bi2Sr2CaCu2O8 were deposited by high-pressure oxygen sputtering and laser ablation, respectively, on bicrystalline substrates of SrTiO3 with angles of 10,24,36 and 45 degrees. The microstructure of the grain boundary in the substrate and in the film was characterized by transmission electron microscopy. While the grain boundary in the substrate was found to be almost rectilinear with a maximum roughness of about 3 nm, the grain boundaries in the superconducting films exhibited a roughness of up to 200 nm for YBa2Cu3O7 and up to 1 μm for Bi2Sr2CaCu2O8. The grain boundaries consist of facets, which have a low index habit plane in common with one of the adjacent grains. These facets can be found on a length scale extending from several nanometers up to one micrometer. It is concluded that the exact lateral position of the film grain boundary is not only determined by the substrate but also by the coalescence of growth islands during the film-deposition process. The microstructural results are discussed with respect to their impact on the electrical properties.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering