Metastable state-induced consecutive step-like negative differential resistance behaviors in single crystalline VO2 nanobeams†
We demonstrate the current-dependent consecutive appearance of two different negative differential resistance (NDR) transitions in a single crystalline VO2 nanobeam epitaxially grown on a c-cut sapphire substrate. It is revealed that the first NDR occurs at an approximately constant current level as a result of the carrier injection-induced transition, independent of a thermally induced phase transition. In contrast, it is observed that the second NDR exhibits a temperature-dependent behavior and current values triggering the metal–insulator transition (MIT) are strongly mediated by Joule heating effects in a phase coexisting temperature range. Moreover, we find that the electrically and thermally triggered MIT behavior can be closely related with the alternate occurrence of current-induced multiple insulating and metallic phase coexistence in the nanobeam. These findings indicate that the current density passing through VO2 plays a critical role in both the electrical and structural phase transitions.