Beneficial effects of annealing on amorphous Nb-Si thin-film thermometers

D. Querlioz, E. Helgren, D. R. Queen, F. Hellman, R. Islam, David Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Amorphous Nb-Si alloys have a temperature-dependent resistivity which can be tuned over many decades by controlling composition and are used for thin-film thermometers. Annealing at temperatures from 100 to 500 °C produces dramatic but easily controlled increases in resistivity, both magnitude and temperature dependence, for insulating and metallic samples with compositions ranging from 8-15 at. %Nb. A transition from metal to insulator is induced by annealing an initially metallic sample. Annealing produces thermal stability against subsequent heat treatment, allowing annealed films to be used as low-temperature thermometers even when they are cycled to temperatures as high as 500 °C. Cross-section transmission electron microscopy and energy-dispersive x-ray analysis show that the initially amorphous films develop Nb-rich clusters within an amorphous Nb-depleted matrix, explaining the observed resistivity increase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number221901
Pages (from-to)1-3
Number of pages3
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number22
StatePublished - 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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