Localized Triggering of the Insulator-Metal Transition in VO2 Using a Single Carbon Nanotube

Stephanie M. Bohaichuk, Miguel Muñoz Rojo, Gregory Pitner, Connor J. McClellan, Feifei Lian, Jason Li, Jaewoo Jeong, Mahesh G. Samant, Stuart S.P. Parkin, H.S. Philip Wong, Eric Pop

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    26 Citations (Scopus)
    163 Downloads (Pure)


    Vanadium dioxide (VO2) has been widely studied for its rich physics and potential applications, undergoing a prominent insulator-metal transition (IMT) near room temperature. The transition mechanism remains highly debated, and little is known about the IMT at nanoscale dimensions. To shed light on this problem, here we use ~1 nm wide carbon nanotube (CNT) heaters to trigger the IMT in VO2. Single metallic CNTs switch the adjacent VO2 at less than half the voltage and power required by control devices without a CNT, with switching power as low as ~85 μW at 300 nm device lengths. We also obtain potential and temperature maps of devices during operation using Kelvin Probe Microscopy (KPM) and Scanning Thermal Microscopy (SThM). Comparing these with three-dimensional electrothermal simulations, we find that the local heating of the VO2 by the CNT plays a key role in the IMT. These results demonstrate the ability to trigger IMT in VO2 using nanoscale heaters, and highlight the significance of thermal engineering to improve device behaviour.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)11070-11077
    Number of pages8
    JournalACS nano
    Issue number10
    Early online date8 Aug 2019
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019


    • Vanadium dioxide
    • Insulator-metal transition
    • Carbon nanotubes
    • Scanning Probe Microscopy (SPM)


    Dive into the research topics of 'Localized Triggering of the Insulator-Metal Transition in VO2 Using a Single Carbon Nanotube'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this