Thermally induced crystallization in NbO2 thin films. Academic Article uri icon


  • Niobium dioxide can exhibit negative differential resistance (NDR) in metal-insulator-metal (MIM) devices, which has recently attracted significant interest for its potential applications as a highly non-linear selector element in emerging nonvolatile memory (NVM) and as a locally-active element in neuromorphic circuits. In order to further understand the processing of this material system, we studied the effect of thermal annealing on a 15 nm thick NbO2 thin film sandwiched inside a nanoscale MIM device and compared it with 180 nm thick blanket NbOx (x = 2 and 2.5) films deposited on a silicon dioxide surface as references. A systematic transmission electron microscope (TEM) study revealed a similar structural transition from amorphous to a distorted rutile structure in both cases, with a transition temperature of 700 °C for the NbO2 inside the MIM device and a slightly higher transition temperature of 750 °C for the reference NbO2 film. Quantitative composition analysis from electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) showed the stoichiometry of the nominal 15 nm NbO2 layer in the as-fabricated MIM device deviated from the target 1:2 ratio because of an interaction with the electrode materials, which was more prominent at elevated annealing temperature.

published proceedings

  • Sci Rep

author list (cited authors)

  • Zhang, J., Norris, K. J., Gibson, G., Zhao, D., Samuels, K., Zhang, M. M., ... Williams, R. S.

citation count

  • 17

complete list of authors

  • Zhang, Jiaming||Norris, Kate J||Gibson, Gary||Zhao, Dongxue||Samuels, Katy||Zhang, Minxian Max||Yang, J Joshua||Park, Joonsuk||Sinclair, Robert||Jeon, Yoocharn||Li, Zhiyong||Williams, R Stanley

publication date

  • September 2016