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In this work, we report on directionally solidified YBCO bars fabricated by the horizontal Bridgman technique based on sample transport in a thermal gradient. We employ a pulling rate in the furnace three orders of magnitude higher than the value of 0.5 mm/h generally used to maximize the critical current densities. We cut the produced sample in several slices perpendicularly to the pulling direction with the purpose of analysing the spatial distribution of superconducting, morphological and structural properties as a function of their position along the pulling direction. X-ray diffraction and SEM analyses show that partial texturing occurs even at very high pulling rates. Each slice has an onset of the critical temperature at /spl sim/90 K Moreover, the critical current densities at 77 K and at 1 Tesla are estimated from dc magnetisation curves in hundreds of A/cm/sup 2/.
Date of Publication: June 1999