Metal-Insulator Transition Below 4 nm Could Lead to Novel Electronics

“UNAM researchers demonstrates metal-insulator transition persists even below 4 nm for the first time in free-standing vanadium dioxide”

Vanadium dioxide is an intriguing material that displays a metal-insulator transition (MIT) at 65 C. This phenomena emerges from strong electronic correlations and the underlying physics hasn’t been fully understood yet. The MIT in vanadium dioxide promises applications in various fields. One example is utilizing the MIT to make a new type of transistor. However, this is proven to be a very challenging task. A team of researchers lead by Dr. Kasırga, takes a bold step towards realizing this promise. In order to understand the effects of crystal thickness on the MIT, they devised a method to mill free-standing vanadium dioxide crystals and demonstrated that even below 4 nm in thickness the MIT persists. Moreover materials properties are preserved even after the milling below 4 nm. Prof Aykutlu Dana, an expert in electronic materials, commented: “Kasırga group has demonstrated an important step in understanding the Metal Insulator Transition in ultrathin films of Vanadium Dioxide. The finding may pave the way to electrically controlled metal-insulator-transition devices that can revolutionize information processing. The crystallinity of the material and the thinning process without disturbing this crystallinity enabled them to show changes in transition behaviour at the nanoscale.”

Mustafa Fadlelmula, MSc student in the MSN program worked on the project, stated that this study could lead to demonstrating the novel transistor utilizing the MIT in vanadium dioxide. Another important aspect of this work is that it opens a door to study quantum confinement in strongly correlated materials, says Mehdi Ramezani, another MSN MSc student that was in the research team. ”

This work is published in the journal of Nano Letters 21 February 2017 DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.6b05067, which can be found in ASAP Articles through the following link:

Mehdi Ramezani

Mustafa Fadlelmula

Engin Can Sürmeli

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