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Proximity effect in Ag-Pb alloys


Sun, Yen-Sheng Edmund (1975) Proximity effect in Ag-Pb alloys. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/eqtc-vh77.


The superconducting properties and the microstructure of the Ag100-xPbx alloys, 1 ≤ x ≤ 5, prepared by rapid quenching from the liquid state with and without subsequent heat treatments, have been studied. The x-ray diffraction measurements show that supersaturated solid solutions of Pb in Ag can be obtained up to 3.2 at.% Pb as compared to less than 0.1 at.% Pb at equilibrium. It was found that by suitable heat treatment it is possible to vary the size and distribution of the Pb precipitates in the Ag matrix and reproducible superconducting properties in the alloy can be observed. The superconducting transition temperature of these samples can be qualitatively explained by the Silvert and Singh's theoretical calculation. The theory developed for the case of layer structure can be extended to three dimensions to explain the critical current versus temperature behavior. The critical current versus field behavior of these alloys can be explained by the modification of the Josephson effect. Combining these results together with the critical magnetic field measurements and the microstructure studies of the alloys, it can be concluded that the three-dimensional proximity effect is the main mechanism for the superconductivity in the Ag-Pb alloys. Based on the Hilsch empirical formula which was based on experimental results obtained on layer structures, the experimental data in this investigation show that the electron-phonon-electron interaction in silver is attractive. The interaction parameter NV obtained is approximately 0.06, which would lead to a value of 10-5 °K for the superconducting transition temperature of Ag. These values are in agreement with other determinations which were done on vapor-deposited metallic film sandwiches. Hence, the Hilsch empirical relation valid for layer structures is also valid in the three-dimensional case. Because the transition temperature and the critical current can be varied in a wide range by controlling the heat treatments, the Ag-Pb superconductors might have some useful applications.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Applied Physics
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Applied Physics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Duwez, Pol E.
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:19 August 1974
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:07212014-154147234
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:8577
Deposited By: Benjamin Perez
Deposited On:21 Jul 2014 22:56
Last Modified:09 Nov 2022 19:20

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