Crystallization, Phase Stability, and Electrochemical Performance of β-MoO3 Thin Films
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionCrystal Growth & Design. 2020, 20 (6), 3861-3866. 10.1021/acs.cgd.0c00156
Insight into the crystallization process of functional materials deposited as thin films in an amorphous state is essential when phase pure samples of specific polymorphs are sought for utilization of performance aspects or fundamental studies. In this work, we report on controlled crystallization of α- and β-MoO3 polymorphs from amorphous MoO3 thin films produced by atomic layer deposition (ALD). The MoO3 films are amorphous as deposited. Our experiments show that β-MoO3 starts to crystallize from amorphous MoO3 at a surprisingly low temperature of 185 °C, only 20 °C above the adopted ALD deposition temperature. Thin films of the β-MoO3 polymorph start to slowly convert into α-MoO3 at temperatures above 300 °C; however, long holding times are required to obtain phase pure products. High-quality thin film samples (electrodes) were characterized by electrochemical cycling toward lithium, demonstrating that α- and β-MoO3 transfers into the same chemical state during cycling and that amorphous MoO3 undergoes less change upon cycling.