High Tc superconductor/noble-metal contacts with surface resistivities in the 10-10 Ω cm2 range

Ekin, J. W.; Larson, T. M.; Bergren, N. F.; Nelson, A. J.; Swartzlander, A. B.; Kazmerski, L. L.; Panson, A. J.; Blankenship, B. A.
May 1988
Applied Physics Letters;5/23/1988, Vol. 52 Issue 21, p1819
Academic Journal
Contact surface resistivities (product of contact resistance and area) in the 10-10 Ω cm2 range have been obtained for both silver and gold contacts to high Tc superconductors. This is a reduction by about eight orders of magnitude from the contact resistivity of indium solder connections. The contact resistivity is low enough to be considered for both on-chip and package interconnect applications. The contacts were formed by sputter depositing either silver or gold at low temperatures (<100 °C) on a clean surface of Y1 Ba2 Cu3 O7-δ (YBCO) and later annealing the contacts in oxygen. Annealing temperature characteristics show that for bulk-sintered YBCO samples there is a sharp decrease in contact resistivity after annealing silver/YBCO contacts in oxygen for 1 h at temperatures above ∼500 °C and gold/YBCO contacts for 1 h above ∼600 °C. Oxygen annealing for longer times (8 h) did not reduce the contact resistivity of silver contacts as much as annealing for 1 h. Auger microprobe analysis shows that indium/YBCO contacts contain a significant concentration of oxygen in the indium layer adjacent to the YBCO interface. Silver and gold contacts, on the other hand, contain almost no oxygen and have favorable interfacial chemistry with low oxygen affinity. Silver also acts as a ‘‘switchable’’ passivation buffer, allowing oxygen to penetrate to the YBCO interface at elevated temperatures, but protecting the YBCO surface at room temperature.


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