We have recently found that control of the oxygen partial pressure (PO2) during melt processing, named the oxygen-controlled melt-growth (OCMG) process, is critical for obtaining a high superconducting transition temperature (Tc) in the light rare earth (LRE)-Ba-Cu-O (LREBCO) superconductors particularly for Nd, Sm and Eu. Further, compared to a good melt-processed Y-Ba-Cu-O (YBCO) bulk superconductor, LREBCO bulks exhibit larger critical current density (Jc) in high magnetic field and a much improved irreversibility field (Hirr) at 77 K, implying that more effective flux pinning can be realized in a commercially feasible way. In this paper, properties and characteristic flux pinning of OCMG-processed LREBCO (LRE: Nd,Sm,Eu) superconductors are described on the basis of our study during the last several years. We also present the prospects for bulk-type applications, such as the magnetic bearings, flywheels and magnetically levitated (MAGLEV) trains.
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