Superior critical current density obtained in MgB2 bulks via employing carbon-coated boron and minor Cu addition
High performance Cu doped MgB2 bulks were prepared by an in-situ method with carbon-coated amorphous boron as precursor. It was found that the usage of carbon-coated boron in present work leads to the formation of uniformly refined MgB2 grains, as well as a high level of homogeneous carbon doping in the MgB2 samples, which significantly enhance the Jc in both Cu doped and undoped bulks compared to MgB2 bulks with normal amorphous boron precursor. Moreover, minor Cu can service as activator, and thus facilitates the growth of MgB2 grains and improves crystallinity and grain connectivity, which can bring about the excellent critical current density (Jc) at self fields and low fields (the best values are 7 x 105 A/cm2 at self fields, and 1 x 105 A/cm2 at 2 T, 20 K, respectively). Simultaneously, minor Cu addition can reduce the amount of MgO impurity significantly, also contributing to the improvement of Jc at low fields. Our work suggests that Cu-activated sintering combined with employment of carbon-coated amorphous boron as precursor could be a promising technique to produce practical MgB2 bulks or wires with excellent Jc on an industrial scale.