We study how the properties of phase transition in condensed matter change with the dimensionality and size of the system under investigation. When the size of the system is shorter (in one or more dimensions) than an important length scale (for example, the mean free path), we would expect the physical properties concerned with this length scale to also change. In addition, at these short length scales, being physically close to other materials with different properties could also affect the system of interest – the properties of the other system ‘leaking’ to the system in question. This is generally called a proximity effect.
We identified avalanche-like transitions of the phase transition in Vanadium oxide when measuring nano-size devices of this material. A statistical power-law dependence of the avalanche magnitude points toward criticality of the transition. Many other aspects of the properties are currently under investigation.