Microstructures of MgB2/Fe tapes fabricated by an in situ powder-in-tube method using MgH2 as a precursor powder have been studied by means of x-ray diffraction and analytical transmission electron microscopy combined with a focused ion beam microsampling technique. The overall microstructures in the tapes are characterized as densely crystallized MgB2 areas with 10-200 nm grain size, uncrystallized areas mainly containing MgO and amorphous phases enriched with B, and a number of holes and cracks. The crystallized MgB2 areas increase upon doping with SiC nanoparticles. Si and C atoms decomposed from SiC nanoparticles during heat treatment exhibit different spatial distributions: the Si atoms are inhomogeneously distributed, forming silicides such as Mg2Si with grain size of 5-20 nm, while the C atoms tend to be uniformly distributed in the MgB2 matrix. A significant difference in distribution of O atoms between the SiC-doped and non-doped specimens was observed. The processes of formation of these microstructures and their relationships with the critical current density under magnetic fields have been discussed.
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