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Properties of MoO3 Thin Film Polymorphs

  • E. M. McCARRON (a1) and P. F. Carcia (a1)


Thin film polymorphs of molybdenum trioxide have been synthesized by RF sputtering. Films deposited on thermally floating substrates are polycrystalline and exhibit preferred orientation. Depending upon the oxygen partial pressure maintained during sputtering, the films can be made to crystallize in either the thermodynamically stable orthorhombic a MoO3 form (unique 2D-layered structure) or the metastable monoclinic /3 MoO3 phase (3D ReO3-related structure). Metastable β films can be converted thermally to the a phase and the transformation appears topotactic. Films deposited on cooled substrates are amorphous. A correlation between the particular phase formed and adatom mobility is noted.



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1. Andersson, G. and Magneli, A., Acta Chem. Scand., 4, 793 (1950).
2. McCarron, E. M. III, J. Chem. Soc, Chem. Comm., 1986, 336.
3. This notation concisely describes the structure of the trioxides by listing the metal atom followed by the number of each type of coordinated oxygen divided by its coordination number. The sum of the oxygen numerators gives the coordination number about the metal atom.
4. The following references and references therein are representative of the literature concerning the formation of MoO3 thin films;
Miyata, N. and Akiyoshi, S., J. Appl. Phys., 58. 1651 (1985);
Jagadeesh, M. S. and Damodara Das, V., J. Non-Cryst. Solids, 28, 327 (1978).
5. See Experimental Section; Synthetic Chemistry for definition of “thermally floating”.
6. The (Oll) surface of the monoclinic β phase of M0O3 is structurally related to the (100) surface of the parent cubic Re03 structure.
7. Thornton, J. A., Ann. Rev. Mater. Sci., 7, 239 (1977).
8. JCPDS PDF No. 5–0508.


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