Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2015

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors



First Advisor

Markus Raschke

Second Advisor

John Cumalat

Third Advisor

Mark Borden


In recent decades, interest has rapidly developed in the group of materials known as strongly correlated electron systems. These systems exhibit numerous startling behaviors ranging from high temperature superconductivity to the topic of this thesis: metal-insulator transitions, specifically in the material vanadium dioxide (VO2). Unfortunately, due to wide variations within and between samples, it has been difficult to determine the underlying cause of such a phenomenon. In an effort to establish more consistent discrepancies between different growth methods, I have studied two samples of VO2 : a single crystal and a polycrystalline thin film. The differences observed in the responses of each provide validation to further research in this area, if not a fully conclusive result.