Grain boundary segregation in a bronze-route Nb3Sn superconducting wire studied by atom probe tomography

M. J.R. Sandim, D. Tytko, A. Kostka, P. Choi, S. Awaji, K. Watanabe, D. Raabe

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23 Citations (Scopus)


Atom probe tomography was used to characterize the A15 phase in a bronze-route Nb3Sn superconducting wire with a bronze matrix composition of Cu-8Sn-0.3Ti (in at.%). We observed depletion of niobium and segregation of Cu and Ti atoms at Nb3Sn grain boundaries. While the Nb depletion is about 15% relative to the grain interior, the average ratio between Cu and Ti excess values is 9 to 2. Segregation extends to a distance d ∼ 9 Å from the point of maximum Cu and Ti concentrations. Such local variation in the stoichiometry at the grain boundary region can be an additional source of flux-pinning in the Nb3Sn phase. Other microstructural parameters, such as the grain size and chemical composition of the Nb 3Sn layer, were investigated by electron backscatter diffraction and transmission electron microscopy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number055008
JournalSuperconductor Science and Technology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2013 May 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry

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