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Open AccessArticle

Investigating Metal–Insulator Transition and Structural Phase Transformation in the (010)-VO2/(001)-YSZ Epitaxial Thin Films

1
School of Electronic Science and Applied Physics, Hefei University of Technology, Hefei 230009, China
2
National Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230026, China
3
School of Physics and Electronic Information, Henan Polytechnic University, Jiaozuo 454000, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2018, 11(9), 1713; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11091713
Received: 18 August 2018 / Revised: 5 September 2018 / Accepted: 11 September 2018 / Published: 13 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Epitaxial Materials)
The VO2 thin films with sharp metal–insulator transition (MIT) were epitaxially grown on (001)-oriented Yttria-stabilized zirconia substrates (YSZ) using radio-frequency (RF) magnetron sputtering techniques. The MIT and structural phase transition (SPT) were comprehensively investigated under in situ temperature conditions. The amplitude of MIT is in the order of magnitude of 104, and critical temperature is 342 K during the heating cycle. It is interesting that both electron concentration and mobility are changed by two orders of magnitude across the MIT. This research is distinctively different from previous studies, which found that the electron concentration solely contributes to the amplitude of the MIT, although the electron mobility does not. Analysis of the SPT showed that the (010)-VO2/(001)-YSZ epitaxial thin film presents a special multi-domain structure, which is probably due to the symmetry matching and lattice mismatch between the VO2 and YSZ substrate. The VO2 film experiences the SPT from the M1 phase at low temperature to a rutile phase at a high temperature. Moreover, the SPT occurs at the same critical temperature as that of the MIT. This work may shed light on a new MIT behavior and may potentially pave the way for preparing high-quality VO2 thin films on cost-effective YSZ substrates for photoelectronic applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: metal–insulator transition; structural phase transition; VO2 epitaxial thin film; domain structure metal–insulator transition; structural phase transition; VO2 epitaxial thin film; domain structure
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MDPI and ACS Style

Yang, Y.; Yao, Y.; Zhang, B.; Lin, H.; Luo, Z.; Gao, C.; Zhang, C.; Kang, C. Investigating Metal–Insulator Transition and Structural Phase Transformation in the (010)-VO2/(001)-YSZ Epitaxial Thin Films. Materials 2018, 11, 1713.

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