Microbolometer-grade vanadium oxide (VO x ) thin films with 1.3 < x < 2.0 were prepared by pulsed direct-current (DC) sputtering using substrate bias in a controlled oxygen and argon environment. These films were systematically alloyed with Ti, Nb, Mo, and Zr using a second gun and radiofrequency (RF) reactive co-sputtering to probe the effects of the transition metals on the film charge transport characteristics. The results reveal that the temperature coefficient of resistance (TCR) and resistivity are unexpectedly similar for alloyed and unalloyed films up to alloy compositions in the ∼20 at.% range. Analysis of the film structures for the case of the 17% Nb-alloyed film by glancing-angle x-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy shows that the microstructure remains even with the addition of high concentrations of alloy metal, demonstrating the robust character of the VO x films to maintain favorable electrical transport properties for bolometer applications. Postdeposition thermal annealing of the alloyed VO x films further reveals improvement of electrical properties compared with unalloyed films, indicating a direction for further improvements in the materials.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering
- Materials Chemistry