High Tc Superconductor/Noble-Metal Contacts with Surface Resistivities in the 10-10 (omega) CM2 Range

J. W. Ekin, T. M. Larson, N. F. Bergren, A. J. Nelson, A. B. Swartzlander, L. L. Kazmerski, A. J. Panson, B. A. Blankenship

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Contact surface resistivities (product of contact resistance and area) in the 10-10 Ω cm2 range have been obtained for both silver and gold contacts to high Tc superconductors. This is a reduction by about eight orders of magnitude from the contact resistivity of indium solder connections. The contact resistivity is low enough to be considered for both on-chip and package interconnect applications. The contacts were formed by sputter depositing either silver or gold at low temperatures (<100°C) on a clean surface of Y1 Ba2 Cu3 O7-δ (YBCO) and later annealing the contacts in oxygen. Annealing temperature characteristics show that for bulk-sintered YBCO samples there is a sharp decrease in contact resistivity after annealing silver/YBCO contacts in oxygen for 1 h at temperatures above ∼500°C and gold/YBCO contacts for 1 h above ∼600°C. Oxygen annealing for longer times (8 h) did not reduce the contact resistivity of silver contacts as much as annealing for 1 h. Auger microprobe analysis shows that indium/YBCO contacts contain a significant concentration of oxygen in the indium layer adjacent to the YBCO interface. Silver and gold contacts, on the other hand, contain almost no oxygen and have favorable interfacial chemistry with low oxygen affinity. Silver also acts as a "switchable" passivation buffer, allowing oxygen to penetrate to the YBCO interface at elevated temperatures, but protecting the YBCO surface at room temperature.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1819-1821
Number of pages3
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number21
StatePublished - 1988

Bibliographical note

Work performed by Electromagnetic Technology Division, National Bureau of Standards, Boulder, Colorado, Solar Energy Research Institute, Golden, Colorado, and Westinghouse Research and Development Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

NREL Publication Number

  • ACNR/JA-213-10434


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