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J Phys Condens Matter. 2016 Mar 31;28(12):125603. doi: 10.1088/0953-8984/28/12/125603. Epub 2016 Mar 2.

Heterogeneous nucleation and growth dynamics in the light-induced phase transition in vanadium dioxide.

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Department of Physics, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA.


We report on ultrafast optical investigations of the light-induced insulator-to-metal phase transition in vanadium dioxide with controlled disorder generated by substrate mismatch. These results reveal common dynamics of this optically-induced phase transition that are independent of this disorder. Above the fluence threshold for completing the transition to the rutile crystalline phase, we find a common time scale, independent of sample morphology, of 40.5 ± 2 ps that is consistent with nucleation and growth dynamics of the R phase from the parent M1 ground state.

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