Effect of high temperature heat treatments on the quality factor of a large-grain superconducting radio-frequency niobium cavity

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Abstract

Large-grain Nb has become a viable alternative to fine-grain Nb for the fabrication of superconducting radio-frequency cavities. In this contribution we report the results from a heat treatment study of a large-grain 1.5 GHz single-cell cavity made of "medium purity" Nb. The baseline surface preparation prior to heat treatment consisted of standard buffered chemical polishing. The heat treatment in the range 800 - 1400 C was done in a newly designed vacuum induction furnace. Q0 values of the order of 2x1010 at 2.0 K and peak surface magnetic field (Bp) of 90 mT were achieved reproducibly. A Q0-value of (5+-1)1010 at 2.0 K and Bp = 90 mT was obtained after heat treatment at 1400 C. This is the highest value ever reported at this temperature, frequency and field. Samples heat treated with the cavity at 1400 C were analyzed by secondary ion mass spectrometry, secondary electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray, point contact tunneling and X-ray diffraction and revealed a complex surface composition which includes titanium oxide, increased carbon and nitrogen content but reduced hydrogen concentration compared to a non heat-treated sample.

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Dhakal, P., Ciovati, G., Myneni, G. R., Gray, K. E., Groll, N., Maheshwari, P., … Zasadzinzki, J. (2013). Effect of high temperature heat treatments on the quality factor of a large-grain superconducting radio-frequency niobium cavity. Physical Review Special Topics - Accelerators and Beams, 16(4). https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevSTAB.16.042001

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