Electrical transport studies of quench condensed Bi films at the initial stage of film growth: A structural transition and the possible formation of electron droplets

M. M. Rosario, Y. Liu

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11 Scopus citations

Abstract

The electrical transport properties of amorphous Bi films prepared by sequential quench deposition have been studied in situ. A superconductor-insulator transition was observed as the film was made increasingly thicker, consistent with previous studies. Unexpected behavior was found at the initial stage of film growth, a regime not explored in detail prior to the present work. As the temperature was lowered, a positive temperature coefficient of resistance (dR/dT>0) emerged, with the resistance reaching a minimum before the dR/dT became negative again. This behavior was accompanied by a nonlinear and asymmetric current-voltage characteristic. As the film became thicker, conventional variable-range hopping was recovered. We attribute the observed crossover in the electrical transport properties to an amorphous to granular structural transition. The positive dR/dT found in the amorphous phase of Bi formed at the initial stage of film growth is qualitatively explained by the formation of metallic droplets within the electron glass.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number094506
Pages (from-to)945061-945067
Number of pages7
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Volume65
Issue number9
StatePublished - Mar 1 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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