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Correlation-Driven Insulator-Metal Transition in Near-Ideal Vanadium Dioxide Films.

  • Author(s): Gray, AX
  • Jeong, J
  • Aetukuri, NP
  • Granitzka, P
  • Chen, Z
  • Kukreja, R
  • Higley, D
  • Chase, T
  • Reid, AH
  • Ohldag, H
  • Marcus, MA
  • Scholl, A
  • Young, AT
  • Doran, A
  • Jenkins, CA
  • Shafer, P
  • Arenholz, E
  • Samant, MG
  • Parkin, SSP
  • Dürr, HA
  • et al.
Abstract

We use polarization- and temperature-dependent x-ray absorption spectroscopy, in combination with photoelectron microscopy, x-ray diffraction, and electronic transport measurements, to study the driving force behind the insulator-metal transition in VO_{2}. We show that both the collapse of the insulating gap and the concomitant change in crystal symmetry in homogeneously strained single-crystalline VO_{2} films are preceded by the purely electronic softening of Coulomb correlations within V-V singlet dimers. This process starts 7 K (±0.3  K) below the transition temperature, as conventionally defined by electronic transport and x-ray diffraction measurements, and sets the energy scale for driving the near-room-temperature insulator-metal transition in this technologically promising material.

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