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Open AccessArticle

Characteristics of the Current-Controlled Phase Transition of VO2 Microwires for Hybrid Optoelectronic Devices

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Toronto, 10 King’s College Road, Toronto, ON M5S 3G4, Canada
Defence Research and Development Canada-Valcartier, 2459 de la Bravoure Road, Quebec, QC G3J 1X5, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Photonics 2015, 2(3), 916-932;
Received: 15 August 2015 / Revised: 24 August 2015 / Accepted: 25 August 2015 / Published: 28 August 2015
PDF [685 KB, uploaded 7 September 2015]


The optical and electrical characteristics of the insulator-metal phase transition of vanadium dioxide (VO2) enable the realization of power-efficient, miniaturized hybrid optoelectronic devices. This work studies the current-controlled, two-step insulator-metal phase transition of VO2 in varying microwire geometries. Geometry-dependent scaling trends extracted from current-voltage measurements show that the first step induced by carrier injection is delocalized over the microwire, while the second, thermally-induced step is localized to a filament about 1 to 2 μm wide for 100 nm-thick sputtered VO2 films on SiO2. These effects are confirmed by direct infrared imaging, which also measures the change in optical absorption in the two steps. The difference between the threshold currents of the two steps increases as the microwires are narrowed. Micron- and sub-micron-wide VO2 structures can be used to separate the two phase transition steps in photonic and electronic devices. View Full-Text
Keywords: optical materials; phase transition; hybrid photonics optical materials; phase transition; hybrid photonics

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Joushaghani, A.; Jeong, J.; Paradis, S.; Alain, D.; Aitchison, J.S.; Poon, J.K. Characteristics of the Current-Controlled Phase Transition of VO2 Microwires for Hybrid Optoelectronic Devices. Photonics 2015, 2, 916-932.

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