SEM, STM/STS and heavy ion irradiation studies on magnesium diboride superconductor

H. Narayan, S. B. Samanta, A. Gupta, A. V. Narlikar, R. Kishore, K. N. Sood, D. Kanjilal, T. Muranaka, J. Akimitsu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


We have presented here the results of SEM and STM/STS investigations carried out on MgB2 superconductor. The SEM pictures show porous surface and well-linked granular structure in which bigger grains (few micrometer size) seem to be agglomeration of smaller, nearly hexagonal grains (size nearly 100 nm). Hexagonal structure of Mg and B layers have been directly observed in atomically resolved STM images. The lattice constants have been determined to be aMg = 3.1 Å, aB = 1.7 Å and c = 3.5 Å. Grain boundaries (GB) of width ranging from 50 to 200 Å have been observed. Absence of weak link effects despite wide GBs has been attributed to the metallic nature of the amorphous region of the GB interior as inferred from STS analysis. Irradiation with 200 MeV107 Ag ions gives tracks of about 65 Å in the bulk of the sample. This is expected to give higher value of critical current density owing to the flux pinning mechanism, which is related to possibility of wide practical application of this material.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalPhysica C: Superconductivity and its applications
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Grain boundaries
  • Ion irrdiation
  • Magnesium diboride
  • Scanning electron microscopy
  • Scanning tunneling microscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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