Structural, electrical, and terahertz transmission properties of VO 2 thin films grown on c-, r-, and m-plane sapphire substrates

Yong Zhao, Joon Hwan Lee, Yanhan Zhu, M. Nazari, Changhong Chen, Haiyan Wang, Ayrton Bernussi, Mark Holtz, Zhaoyang Fan

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142 Scopus citations


The structure, metal-insulator transition (MIT), and related Terahertz (THz) transmission characteristics of VO 2 thin films obtained by sputtering deposition on c-, r-, and m-plane sapphire substrates were investigated by different techniques. On c-sapphire, monoclinic VO 2 films were characterized to be epitaxial films with triple domain structure caused by -angle mismatch. Monoclinic VO 2 β angle of 122.2° and the two angles of V 4+-V 4+ chain deviating from the a m axis of 4.4 and 4.3° are determined. On r-sapphire, tetragonal VO 2 was determined to be epitaxially deposited with VO 2 (011) T perpendicular to the growth direction, while the structural phase transformation into lower symmetric monoclinic phase results in (2 11) and (200) orientations forming a twinned structure. VO 2 on m-sapphire has several growth orientations, related with the uneven substrate surface and possible inter-diffusion between film and substrate. Measurements of the electrical properties show that the sample on r-sapphire has MIT property superior to the other two samples, with a resistivity change as large as 9 × 10 4 times and a transition window as narrow as 3.9 K, and it has the highest resistivity with the lowest free carrier density in the insulating phase. THz transmission measurements on VO 2 films grown on r-plane sapphire substrates revealed intensity modulation depth as large as 98 over a broadband THz region, suggesting that VO 2 films are ideal material candidates for THz modulation applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number053533
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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