Pauline Alvarez, Applications Engineer, Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology

Ion Beam Sputter Deposition (IBSD) is a versatile technique particularly suited to applications requiring high quality, high performance layer materials as it allows independent and accurate control of the process parameters.

Vanadium oxides, used for example in the fabrication of microbolometers, optical switches or optical storage, exhibit interesting properties such as a high Temperature Coefficient of Resistance (TCR), relatively low 1/f noise and a semiconductor-metal phase transition close to room temperature. However, it is very challenging to control the stoichiometry of the deposited film as there are at least 25 different oxidation states of vanadium, few of which display the required electrical characteristics.

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