Photoinduced insulator-to-metal transition and surface statistics of VO2 monitored by elastic light scattering
Aparicio-Bolaños, Joaquín A.
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Experimental observation of metal-insulator transition in epitaxial films of vanadium dioxide is reported. Hemispherical angle-resolved light scattering technique is applied for statistical analysis of the phase transition processes on mesoscale. It is shown that the thermal hysteresis strongly depends on spatial frequency of surface irregularities. The transformation of scattering indicatrix depends on sample morphology and is principally different for the thin films with higher internal elastic strain and for the thicker films where this strain is suppressed by introduction of misfit dislocations. The evolution of scattering indicatrix, fractal dimension, surface power spectral density, and surface autocorrelation function demonstrates distinctive behavior which elucidates the influence of structural defects and strain on thermal hysteresis, twinning of microcrystallites, and domain formation during the phase transition.