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Nat Mater. 2013 May;12(5):392-6. doi: 10.1038/nmat3575. Epub 2013 Mar 3.

Artificially engineered superlattices of pnictide superconductors.


Significant progress has been achieved in fabricating high-quality bulk and thin-film iron-based superconductors. In particular, artificial layered pnictide superlattices offer the possibility of tailoring the superconducting properties and understanding the mechanism of the superconductivity itself. For high-field applications, large critical current densities (J(c)) and irreversibility fields (H(irr)) are indispensable along all crystal directions. On the other hand, the development of superconducting devices such as tunnel junctions requires multilayered heterostructures. Here we show that artificially engineered undoped Ba-122/Co-doped Ba-122 compositionally modulated superlattices produce ab-aligned nanoparticle arrays. These layer and self-assemble along c-axis-aligned defects, and combine to produce very large J(c) and H(irr) enhancements over a wide angular range. We also demonstrate a structurally modulated SrTiO3(STO)/Co-doped Ba-122 superlattice with sharp interfaces. Success in superlattice fabrication involving pnictides will aid the progress of heterostructured systems exhibiting new interfacial phenomena and device applications.


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