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5 July 1996 Surface characterization of superconductive Nd1Ba2Cu3Oy thin films using scanning probe microscopes
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Recently, superconductive Nd1Ba2Cu3Oy (Nd123) thin films with high superconducting transition temperature (Tc) have been successfully fabricated at our institute employing the standard laser ablation method. In this paper, we report parts of the results of surface characterization of the Nd123 thin films using an ultrahigh vacuum scanning tunneling microscope/spectroscopy (UHV- STM/STS) and an atomic force microscope (AFM) system operated in air. Clear spiral pattern is observed on the surfaces of Nd123 thin films by STM and AFM, suggesting that films are formed by 2D island growth mode at the final growing stage. Contour plots of the spirals show that the step heights of the spirals are not always the integer or half integer numbers of the c-axis parameter of the structure. This implies that the surface natural termination layer of the films may not be unique. Surface atomic images of the as-prepared Nd123 thin films are obtained employing both STM and AFM. STS measurements show that most of the surfaces are semiconductive, or sometimes even metallic. The results of STS measurements together with the fact that we are able to see the surface atomic images using scanning probe microscopes suggest that exposure to air does not cause serious degradation to the as-prepared surfaces of Nd123 thin films.
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Ting Wu, Massoud Badaye, R. Itti, Tadataka Morishita, N. Koshizuka, and S. Tanaka "Surface characterization of superconductive Nd1Ba2Cu3Oy thin films using scanning probe microscopes", Proc. SPIE 2697, Oxide Superconductor Physics and Nano-Engineering II, (5 July 1996);

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