REBa2Cu3O7-δ (REBCO, RE: rare earth, such as Y and Gd) compounds have been extensively studied as a superconducting layer in coated conductors. Although ErBCO potentially has better superconducting properties than YBCO and GdBCO, little research has been made on it, especially in chemical solution deposition (CSD). In this work, ErBCO films were deposited on IBAD (ion-beam-assisted-deposition) substrates by CSD with low-fluorine solutions. The crystallization process was optimized to achieve the highest self-field critical current density (Jc) at 77 K. Commonly, for the investigation of a CSD process involving numerous process factors, one factor is changed keeping the others constant, requiring much time and cost. For more efficient investigation, this study adopted a novel design-of-experiment technique, definitive screening design (DSD), for the first time in CSD process. Two different types of solutions containing Er-propionate or Er-acetate were used to make two types of samples, Er-P and Er-A, respectively. Within the investigated range, we found that crystallization temperature, dew point, and oxygen partial pressure play a key role in Er-P, while the former two factors are significant for Er-A. DSD revealed these significant factors among six process factors with only 14 trials. Moreover, the DSD approach allowed us to create models that predict Jc accurately. These models revealed the optimum conditions giving the highest Jc values of 3.6 MA/cm2 for Er-P and 3.0 MA/cm2 for Er-A. These results indicate that DSD is an attractive approach to optimize CSD process.
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