Corrosion reactions of (YBa2Cu3O7-x) and thallium barium calcium copper oxide (Tl2Ba2Ca2Cu3O10+x) superconductor phases in aqueous environments

Ji Ping Zhou, John T. McDevitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The chemical reactions leading to the decomposition of superconducting YBa2Cu3O7x (0 > x > 0.05) in water solution and water vapor at different temperatures were investigated and the corrosion products were characterized using X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy. Although the YBa2Cu3O7-xphase is stable in some nonaqueous solvents, it reacts readily with water, acids, carbon dioxide, and carbon monoxide. Samples of YBa2Cu3O7-x soaked in water solution at 25, 50, and 75 °C all produce BaCO3 and CuO corrosion products as determined by X-ray powder diffraction studies. Although there is some evidence for the formation of small amounts of Y2BaCuO5 and Y2O3, the majority of the Y-containing corrosion products are produced as amorphous phases. Our studies suggest that“Y2BaCuO6”is formed with a metastable or distorted structure. Moreover, when YBa2Cu3O7-x was exposed to water vapor equilibrated at a temperature of 75 ¼ BaCO3 forms and increases in amount with exposure time. On the other hand, CuO and “Y2BaCuO6”form only in the initial stages of corrosion. For comparison, superconducting Tl2Ba2Ca2Cu3O10+x was also investigated, and similar results were obtained. Details related to the corrosion of these two high-Tc phases are discussed herein.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)953-959
Number of pages7
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 1 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


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