• vanadium dioxide;
  • metal-insulator transition;
  • X-ray microdiffraction;
  • structural phase transition


VO2 single crystals with unprecedented quality, exhibiting a first-order metal–insulator transition (MIT) at 67.8 °C and an insulatorinsulator transition (IIT) at ∼49 °C, are grown using a self-flux evaporation method. Using synchrotron-based X-ray microdiffraction analysis, it is shown that the IIT is related to a structural phase transition (SPT) from the monoclinic M2 phase to the M1 phase upon heating while the MIT occurs together with a SPT of M1 to the rutile R phase. All previous reports have shown that VO2 exists in the M1 phase at room temperature in contrast to the M2 phase observed in this work. We suggest that internal strain inside single crystal VO2 may generate the previously unobserved IIT and the unusual room temperature structure. (© 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)