In this study, high-density magnesium diboride (MgB2) bulk superconductors were synthesized by spark plasma sintering (SPS) under pressure to improve the field dependence of the critical current density (Jc-B) in MgB2 bulk superconductors. We investigated the relationship between sintering conditions (temperature and time) and Jc-B using two methods, ex situ (sintering MgB2 synthesized powder) and in situ (reaction sintering of Mg and B powder), respectively. As a result, we found that higher density with suppressed particle growth and suppression of the formation of coarse particles of MgB4 and MgO were found to be effective in improving the Jc-B characteristics. In the ex situ method, the degradation of MgB2 due to pyrolysis was more severe at temperatures higher than 850◦C. The sample that underwent SPS treatment for a short time at 850◦C showed higher density and less impurity phase in the bulk, which improved the Jc-B properties. In addition, the in situ method showed very minimal impurity with a corresponding improvement in density and Jc-B characteristics for the sample optimized at 750◦C. Microstructural characterization and flux pinning (fP) analysis revealed the possibility of refined MgO inclusions and MgB4 phase as new pinning centers, which greatly contributed to the Jc-B properties. The contributions of the sintering conditions on fP for both synthesis methods were analyzed.
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