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Nat Commun. 2016 Jul 18;7:12214. doi: 10.1038/ncomms12214.

Reversible switching between pressure-induced amorphization and thermal-driven recrystallization in VO2(B) nanosheets.

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High Pressure Science and Engineering Center, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada 89154, USA.
HPSynC, Geophysical Laboratory, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Argonne, Illinois 60439, USA.
Center for High Pressure Science and Technology Advanced Research (HPSTAR), Pudong, Shanghai 201203, China.
Institute of Nanostructured Functional Materials, Huanghe Science and Technology College, Zhengzhou, Henan 450006, China.
Geophysical Laboratory, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington, District of Columbia 20015, USA.
Beijing Centre for Crystal Research and Development, Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China.
National Laboratory for Condensed Matter Physics, Institute of Physics, CAS, Beijing 100190, China.
Southern University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen 518055, China.


Pressure-induced amorphization (PIA) and thermal-driven recrystallization have been observed in many crystalline materials. However, controllable switching between PIA and a metastable phase has not been described yet, due to the challenge to establish feasible switching methods to control the pressure and temperature precisely. Here, we demonstrate a reversible switching between PIA and thermally-driven recrystallization of VO2(B) nanosheets. Comprehensive in situ experiments are performed to establish the precise conditions of the reversible phase transformations, which are normally hindered but occur with stimuli beyond the energy barrier. Spectral evidence and theoretical calculations reveal the pressure-structure relationship and the role of flexible VOx polyhedra in the structural switching process. Anomalous resistivity evolution and the participation of spin in the reversible phase transition are observed for the first time. Our findings have significant implications for the design of phase switching devices and the exploration of hidden amorphous materials.

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