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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/J009504/1
Title: Phase transitions in vanadium oxide nanostructures
Principal Investigator: Beanland, Dr R
Other Investigators:
Sanchez, Professor A
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
University of Washington
Department: Physics
Organisation: University of Warwick
Scheme: Overseas Travel Grants (OTGS)
Starts: 01 November 2011 Ends: 31 January 2012 Value (£): 7,059
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Materials Characterisation
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
Vanadium dioxide, VO2, undergoes a transition from an insulating phase to a metallic state when it is heated above a critical temperature Tc of 68C. The precise mechanisms underlying this transformation remain controversial, primarly because coupling between local strain and Tc makes it very challenging to infer the true (microscopic) properties of the material from macroscopic measurements that average over a large volume.

A new way to study this problem has been pioneered by Prof. David Cobden at the University of Washington in Seattle, by using VO2 'nanobeams', smaller than the characteristic domain size. However all the results to date have been obtained using optical microscopy and electrical measurements of nanobeams suspended between contacts. The expertise at Warwick, in electron microscopy, provides an opportunity to study the domain boundary between the insulating and metallic phases in unprecedented detail, with the aim of answering long-standing problems and new questions arising from Prof. Cobden's work. A short programme of research is in place for the summer of 2011, and this travel grant will provide an opportunity to develop proposals for future research, enabling us to sustain this new collaboration.
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Organisation Website: http://www.warwick.ac.uk