Thin films of V2O3 with thickness from 20 to 450 nm were deposited on (0001) oriented sapphire substrates by reactive e-beam evaporation. LEED, x-ray diffraction and AFM studies show highly oriented grains with a lateral size of 50 to 800 nm, dependent on substrate temperature and deposition rate. The films were characterized by optical and infrared transmission, electrical resistance and Hall effect measurements. Films grown directly on the Al2O3-substrate show a very broad metal-insulator (MI) transition as a function of temperature. The width of the transition decreases with increasing film thickness. The insertion of Cr2O3 buffer layers decreases the transition width by a further factor of three. The electronic properties of the films can be drastically influenced by the growth conditions.
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