This paper reports the nanoscale texture and microstructure of a high-performance NdFeAs(O,F) superconducting thin film grown by molecular beam epitaxy on a textured MgO/Y2O3/Hastelloy substrate. The NdFeAs(O,F) film forms a highly textured columnar grain structure by epitaxial growth on the MgO template. Although the film contains stacking faults along the ab-plane as well as grain boundaries perpendicular to the ab-plane, good superconducting properties are measured: a critical temperature, Tc, of 46 K and a self-field critical current density, Jc, of 2 × 106 A/cm2 at 4.2 K. Automated crystal orientation mapping by scanning precession electron diffraction in transmission electron microscope is employed to analyze the misorientation angles between adjacent grains in a large ensemble (247 grains), and 99% of the grain boundaries show in-plane misorientation angles (Δγ) less than the critical angle θc, which satisfies one of the necessary conditions for the high Jc. Comparing the columnar grain size distribution with the mean distance of the flux line lattice, the triple junctions of low-angle grain boundaries are found to be effective pinning centers, even at high temperatures (≥35 K) and/or low magnetic fields.
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