Rhenium trioxide exhibits high electronic conductivity, while its open cubic crystal structure allows an appreciable hydrogen intercalation, generating disordered solid phases, with protonic conductivity. Rhenium oxide thin films has been obtained by thermal evaporation of ReO3 powders on different substrates, maintained at different temperatures, and also by reactive magnetron sputtering of a Re metallic target. A comparative investigation has been carried out on these films, as well as on finely ground ReO3 powders, by probing both powder specimens and deposited films by micro-Raman spectroscopy and XRD. Two basic types of solid phases appear to grow in the films: a red metallic HxReO3 compound, with distorted perovskite structures, like in the bulk material, and ordered HReO4 crystals based on tetrahedral perrhenate ions. Because of its conduction properties, the electrical and electrooptical behaviours of ReO3 films deposited on standard ITO/glass substrate have been tested inside asymmetric nematic liquid crystal cells, showing an appreciable capability of rectification of their electro-optical response, in similar way to tungsten trioxide.
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