Effects of neutron irradiation on high temperature superconductors
Hammerer, John J.
Buskirk, Fred Ramon
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Neutron irradiation of high temperature superconductors was performed in order to determine the effects of nuclear weapons on these novel materials. This radiation could also be encountered in space radiation belts, fusion reactors and particle accelerators. Fluences used were on the order of 10 to the 18th power fast and thermal neutrons/sq cm. The result of the irradiation was a complete loss of observed superconductivity in YBa2Cu3O7 and ErBa2Cu3O7. A combination of gamma heating of 5 W/g and fast neutron flux imposed serve thermal stress on sample pellets. In two cases, the pellets were reduced to powder. Samples were prepared at the Naval Research Laboratory and the National Research Laboratory and the National Bureau of Standards. They were checked for the Meissner effect using magnetic levitation. The dc four terminal method was used to determine the transition temperature
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