Journal of Physics - Condensed Matter (2010)

The thermally induced metal-semiconducting phase transition of samarium monosulfide (SmS) thin films
Edith Rogers, Philippe F. Smet, Pieter Dorenbos, Dirk Poelman, Erik van der Kolk
Journal of Physics - Condensed Matter 22 (2010) 15005

Abstract
High quality phase pure samarium monosulfide (SmS) thin films were prepared by electron beam evaporation using a samarium metal source in a H2S atmosphere. The optical properties (reflection, transmission, absorption) of the films in the semiconducting and metallic phase were analysed from the UV to the mid-IR and explained in terms of the electronic structure of SmS. In this paper it will be shown that metallic SmS thin films exhibit an apparently continuous thermally induced metallic to semiconducting phase transition when studied optically. Temperature dependent x-ray diffraction measurements, however, indicate that the metallic to semiconductor phase transition is in fact first order at a single grain level. The apparently continuous optical behaviour is therefore due to the polycrystalline nature of the films.

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