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Title: Electrical Transition in Isostructural VO2 Thin-Film Heterostructures

Control over the concurrent occurrence of structural (monoclinic to tetragonal) and electrical (insulator to the conductor) transitions presents a formidable challenge for VO2-based thin film devices. Speed, lifetime, and reliability of these devices can be significantly improved by utilizing solely electrical transition while eliminating structural transition. We design a novel strain-stabilized isostructural VO2epitaxial thin-film system where the electrical transition occurs without any observable structural transition. The thin-film heterostructures with a completely relaxed NiO buffer layer have been synthesized allowing complete control over strains in VO2films. The strain trapping in VO2thin films occurs below a critical thickness by arresting the formation of misfit dislocations. We discover the structural pinning of the monoclinic phase in (10 ± 1 nm) epitaxial VO2films due to bandgap changes throughout the whole temperature regime as the insulator-to-metal transition occurs. Using density functional theory, we calculate that the strain in monoclinic structure reduces the difference between long and short V-V bond-lengths (ΔVV) in monoclinic structures which leads to a systematic decrease in the electronic bandgap of VO2. This decrease in bandgap is additionally attributed to ferromagnetic ordering in the monoclinic phase to facilitate a Mott insulator without going through the structural transition.

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Author(s) / Creator(s):
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Publisher / Repository:
Nature Publishing Group
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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