Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists crack materials mystery in vanadium dioxide

Date:
November 25, 2010
Source:
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Summary:
A systematic study of phase changes in vanadium dioxide has solved a mystery that has puzzled scientists for decades.

Theoretical research at Oak Ridge National Laboratory can help explain experimental results in vanadium dioxide, such as the formation of thin conductive channels (seen in white) that can appear under strain in a nanoscale vanadium dioxide sample.
Credit: Image courtesy of DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory

A systematic study of phase changes in vanadium dioxide has solved a mystery that has puzzled scientists for decades, according to researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Scientists have known that vanadium dioxide exhibits several competing phases when it acts as an insulator at lower temperatures. However, the exact nature of the phase behavior has not been understood since research began on vanadium dioxide in the early 1960s.

Alexander Tselev, a research associate from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville working with ORNL's Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, in collaboration with Igor Luk'yanchuk from the University of Picardy in France used a condensed matter physics theory to explain the observed phase behaviors of vanadium dioxide, a material of significant technological interest for optics and electronics.

"We discovered that the competition between several phases is purely driven by the lattice symmetry," Tselev said. "We figured out that the metallic phase lattice of vanadium oxide can 'fold' in different ways while cooling, so what people observed was different types of its folding."

Vanadium dioxide is best known in the materials world for its speedy and abrupt phase transition that essentially transforms the material from a metal to an insulator. The phase change takes place at about 68 degrees Celsius.

"These features of electrical conductivity make vanadium dioxide an excellent candidate for numerous applications in optical, electronic and optoelectronic devices," Tselev said.

Devices that might take advantage of the unusual properties of VO2 include lasers, motion detectors and pressure detectors, which could benefit from the increased sensitivity provided by the property changes of vanadium dioxide. The material is already used in technologies such as infrared sensors.

Researchers said their theoretical work could help guide future experimental research in vanadium dioxide and ultimately aid the development of new technologies based on VO2.

"In physics, you always want to understand how the material ticks," said Sergei Kalinin, a senior scientist at the CNMS. "The thermodynamic theory will allow you to predict how the material will behave in different external conditions."

The results were published in the American Chemical Society's Nano Letters. The research team also included Ilia Ivanov, John Budai and Jonathan Tischler at ORNL and Evgheni Strelcov and Andrei Kolmakov at Southern Illinois University.

The team's theoretical research expands upon previous experimental ORNL studies with microwave imaging that demonstrated how strain and changes of crystal lattice symmetry can produce thin conductive wires in nanoscale vanadium dioxide samples.

This research was supported in part by the Department of Energy's Office of Science and by the National Science Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A. Tselev, I. A. Luk’yanchuk, I. N. Ivanov, J. D. Budai, J. Z. Tischler, E. Strelcov, A. Kolmakov, S. V. Kalinin. Symmetry Relationship and Strain-Induced Transitions between Insulating M1 and M2 and Metallic R phases of Vanadium Dioxide. Nano Letters, 2010; 10 (11): 4409 DOI: 10.1021/nl1020443

Cite This Page:

DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory. "Scientists crack materials mystery in vanadium dioxide." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101123151740.htm>.
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory. (2010, November 25). Scientists crack materials mystery in vanadium dioxide. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101123151740.htm
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory. "Scientists crack materials mystery in vanadium dioxide." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101123151740.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Why Did Nike Fire Most Of Its Nike FuelBand Team?

Why Did Nike Fire Most Of Its Nike FuelBand Team?

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nike fired most of its Digital Sport hardware team, the group behind Nike's FuelBand device. Could Apple or an overcrowded market be behind layoffs? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the industry fell under intense scrutiny. Now, small underground nuclear power plants are being considered as the possible future of the nuclear energy. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show

Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) An electric car that proponents hope will replace horse-drawn carriages in New York City has also been revealed at the auto show. (Apr. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

AFP (Apr. 17, 2014) It walks and runs, even up and down stairs. It can open a bottle and serve a drink, and politely tries to shake hands with a stranger. Meet the latest ASIMO, Honda's humanoid robot. Duration: 00:54 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins