Journal Article Thermopower analysis of metal-insulator transition temperature modulations in vanadium dioxide thin films with lattice distortion

Katase, Takayoshi  ,  Endo, Kenji  ,  Ohta, Hiromichi

92 ( 3 )  , pp.35302-1 - 35302-7 , 2015-07-13 , American Physical Society
Insulator-to-metal (MI) phase transition in vanadium dioxide (VO2) thin films with controlled lattice distortion was investigated by thermopower measurements. VO2 epitaxial films with different crystallographic orientations, grown on (0001) alpha-Al2O3, (11 (2) over bar0) alpha-Al2O3, and (001) TiO2 substrates, showed significant decrease of absolute value of Seebeck coefficient (S) from similar to 200 to 23 mu VK-1, along with a sharp drop in electrical resistivity (rho), due to the transition from an insulator to a metal. The MI transition temperatures observed both in rho(T-rho) and S(T-S) for the VO2 films systematically decrease with lattice shrinkage in the pseudorutile structure along the c axis, accompanying a broadening of the MI transition temperature width. Moreover, the onset T-S, where the insulating phase starts to become metallic, is much lower than the onset T-rho. This difference is attributed to the sensitivity of S for the detection of hidden metallic domains in the majority insulating phase, which cannot be detected in rho measurements. Consequently, S measurements provide a straightforward and excellent approach for a deeper understanding of the MI transition process in VO2.

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