Transmission EBSD (t-EBSD) as Tool to Investigate Nanostructures in Superconductors

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The transmission electron backscatter diffraction (t-EBSD) technique has proven to be an indispensable tool for the analysis of microstructures of superconducting samples, both high-T c samples (YBa 2 Cu 3 O y , Bi 2 Sr 2 CaCu 2 O 8 ) as well as MgB 2 or iron-based materials. The knowledge of the grain boundary properties (misorientation, length, width) is essential for the further optimization of sample performance. Any addition of secondary phase(s) to improve the flux pinning properties is required to be of nanometer dimensions, so the higher achievable resolution and the better imaging properties are important to obtain reasonably high image quality to enable automated orientation mapping. The orientation maps reveal not only the location and the shape of the inclusions within the superconducting matrix or at the grain boundaries but also their influence on the surrounding superconducting matrix, which also plays an important role in flux pinning. In the case of sintered MgB 2 bulk samples, the demand for higher critical current densities leads to MgB 2 grains in the 100-nm range, which is already difficult to be studied by means of conventional EBSD. Furthermore, t-EBSD is useful for the analysis of specific microstructures of unconventional superconductors like superconducting foams or superconducting nanowire networks.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Superconductivity and Novel Magnetism
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan 1



  • Nanometer-sized grains
  • Orientation mapping
  • Pinning centers
  • Superconductors
  • Transmission electron backscatter diffraction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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