Dynamic transport measurements of vo2 thin films through the metal-to-insulator transition

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University of Alabama Libraries

VO2 is a transition metal oxide material well known for its high magnitude metal-to-insulator transition (MIT) with a corresponding change in crystal structure [1]. At room temperature, VO2 is found in an insulating monoclinic phase (P21/c) that upon heating through the transition temperature (Tc, ~341 K in bulk material) changes to a metallic rutile phase (P42/mnm) [2]. The MIT can be activated thermally by heating or cooling through Tc, but has also been shown to be sensitive to electric field [3], infrared radiation [4], pressure [5], and strain [6]. The value of Tc is also highly tunable through doping [7] and growth of strained epitaxial thin films [8]. The massive 3-4 order of magnitude change in electrical resistivity (ρ) has drawn interest for possible device level applications. The transition is characterized by the coexistence of rutile metallic domains and a monoclinic insulating matrix that results in a smooth progression of the DC transport and dielectric properties as the MIT is induced. In this thesis, we present an overview of three novel transport experiments all of which involve epitaxial TiO2/VO2 films grown in a home-built low-pressure chemical vapor deposition system. The first experiment looks at the time evolution of the film resistance and capacitance as it settles for an extended period very near Tc. We report evidence that this settling process is characterized by at least two underlying relaxation processes. The second experiment involves the deposition and ferromagnetic resonance (FMR) characterization of TiO2/VO2/Ru/Py heterostructures. Our analysis indicates enhanced spin pumping into the VO2 layer when in the metallic state that is associated with an increase in the effective Gilbert damping parameter. Finally, we discuss the results of 1/f noise spectroscopy measurements collected on Hall-bar patterned VO2(100) films. We show that the processes governing noise along both crystallographic axes are identical and, in the metallic rutile state, follows a unique R-3 scaling behavior.

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Condensed matter physics, Materials science