The formation and optical response of VOx nanoparticles embedded in amorphous aluminium oxide (Al2O3) thin films by pulsed laser deposition is studied. The thin films have been grown by alternate laser ablation of V and Al2O3 targets, which has resulted in a multilayer structure with embedded nanoparticles. The V content has been varied by changing the number of pulses on the V target. It is found that VOx nanoparticles with dimensions around 5 nm have been formed. The structural analysis shows that the vanadium nanoparticles are oxidized, although probably there is not a unique oxide phase for each sample. The films show a different optical response depending on their vanadium content. Optical switching as a function of temperature has been observed for the two films with the highest vanadium content, at transition temperatures of about -20 °C and 315 °C thus suggesting the presence of nanoparticles with compositions V4O7 and V2O5, respectively.
- Optical switching
- Pulsed laser deposition