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The Center for Bright Beams, A National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center

Smooth, homogenous Nb₃Sn

Smooth, homogenous Nb₃Sn illustration

Superconducting thin films, e.g., Nb3Sn, are the next-generation materials for RF accelerator cavities. However, the large surface roughness and non-stoichiometry of Nb3Sn are two critical issues that limit their RF performance. Here, we achieved smooth, homogenous Nb3Sn through our novel electrochemical recipes. The resultant surface roughness is five time smaller than the values from conventional vapor diffusion. Quantitative mapping using chemical and atomic probes confirm the uniform stoichiometry, i.e., the Nb/Sn ratio, of our electrochemical Nb3Sn. The new process and the resultant Nb3Sn film has been applied to a large-scale (0.2 m2 surface area) 1.3 GHz SRF cavity, yielding outstanding RF performance, e.g., ultra-low BCS resistance.

This work is part of CBB’s efforts on developing advanced methods and materials for game-changing SRF cavities so as to achieve the ultimate goal of high efficiency and high fields for beam acceleration.


Z. Sun, G. Gaitan, M. Ge, K. Howard, M. U. Liepe, R. D. Porter, T. Oseroff, T. A. Arias, Z. Baraissov, M. Kelley, D. A. Muller, J. Sethna, N. Sitamaran, and K. D. Dobson, “Toward Stoichiometric and Low-Surface-Roughness Nb3Sn Thin Films via Direct Electrochemical Deposition,” in Proc. SRF ’21, Lansing, MI, Jun. 2021, doi:10.18429/JACoW-SRF2021-WEOTEV03 [Online]. Available: