Repeatable Photoinduced Insulator-to-Metal Transition in Yttrium Oxyhydride Epitaxial Thin Films

Yuya Komatsu, Ryouta Shimizu, Ryuhei Sato, Markus Wilde, Kazunori Nishio, Takayoshi Katase, Daiju Matsumura, Hiroyuki Saitoh, Masahiro Miyauchi, Jonah R. Adelman, Ryan M.L. McFadden, Derek Fujimoto, John O. Ticknor, Monika Stachura, Iain McKenzie, Gerald D. Morris, W. Andrew Macfarlane, Jun Sugiyama, Katsuyuki Fukutani, Shinji TsuneyukiTaro Hitosugi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Currently, no known material retains its photoinduced metallic conductivity over a long time while also exhibiting repeatable metal-to-insulator recovery. Here, we demonstrate such a highly repeatable photoinduced insulator-to-metal transition in yttrium oxyhydride (YOxHy) epitaxial thin films. The temperature (T) dependence of the electrical resistivity (ρ) of the films transforms from the insulating to the metallic state (dρ/dT > 0) under ultraviolet laser illumination. The YOxHyfilm recovers its original insulating state when heated (125 °C) under an Ar atmosphere and regains metallic conductivity when subsequently subjected to ultraviolet laser illumination again, showing a repeatable photoinduced insulator-to-metal transition. First-principles calculations show that the itinerant carriers originate from the variations in the charge states of the hydrogen atoms that occupy octahedral interstitial sites. This study indicates that tuning the site occupancy (octahedral/tetrahedral) of the hydrogen atoms exerts a significant effect on the photoresponse of metal hydrides.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3616-3623
Number of pages8
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Apr 26
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Chemistry


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