Date Awarded

Fall 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)




Irina Novikova

Committee Member

Rosa A. Lukaszew

Committee Member

Enrico Rossi

Committee Member

Mumtaz Qazilbash

Committee Member

Russell A. Wincheski


Vanadium dioxide is an intensely studied material, since it goes through an insulator-metal transition at a critical temperature just above room temperature at 340~K. The dramatic change in conductivity and the easily accessible transition temperature makes it an attractive material for novel technologies. Thin films of VO2 have a reversible transition without any significant degradation in contrast, and depending on the microstructure of the films, the properties of the transition are tunable. In this work, I study the dynamics of the insulator-transition in thin films grown on different substrates using a pump-probe configuration. The energy needed to trigger the transition, as well as the time constants of the change in reflectivity are affected by the strain in the VO2 films. I also characterized the samples using Raman spectroscopy and XRD measurements in order to identify what underlies the differences in behavior. Finally, in collaboration with Dr. Yamaguchi's group at RPI, I show that it is possible to trigger the transition using a THz pulse that directly pumps energy into the lattice, and at lower energies than needed to pump films by photoinducing the electrons across the band gap.



© The Author

Included in

Physics Commons