Structural phase transitions serve as the basis for many functional applications including shape memory alloys (SMAs), switches based on metal-insulator transitions (MITs), etc. In such materials, lattice incompatibility between transformed and parent phases often results in a thermal hysteresis, which is intimately tied to degradation of reversibility of the transformation. The non-linear theory of martensite suggests that the hysteresis of a martensitic phase transformation is solely determined by the lattice constants, and the conditions proposed for geometrical compatibility have been successfully applied to minimizing the hysteresis in SMAs. Here, we apply the non-linear theory to a correlated oxide system (V1−xWxO2), and show that the hysteresis of the MIT in the system can be directly tuned by adjusting the lattice constants of the phases. The results underscore the profound influence structural compatibility has on intrinsic electronic properties, and indicate that the theory provides a universal guidance for optimizing phase transforming materials.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by ONR MURI N000141310635, ONR MURI N000141712661, and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cooperative Agreement 70NANB17H301 at UMD. X.C. thanks the HK Research Grants Council for financial support under Grants 26200316 and 16207017. R.D.J. was supported by NSF (DMREF- 1629026), ONR (N00014-18-1-2766), MURI (FA9550-18-1-0095) and a Vannevar Bush Fellowship. He also benefited from the support of Medtronic Corp, the Institute on the Environment (RDF fund), and the Norwegian Centennial Chair Program. X.C. and R.D.J. thank the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences for support and hospitality during the program “The mathematical design of new materials” (EPSRC EP/R014604/1) when work on this paper was undertaken. H.R.Z. acknowledges support from the U.S. Department of Commerce, NIST under the financial assistance awards 70NANB17H249 and 70NANB19H138. A.V.D. acknowledges the support of Material Genome Initiative funding allocated to NIST.
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