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Title: Role of interfaces on the stability and electrical properties of Ge2Sb2Te5 crystalline structures
Authors: Mio, A. M.Privitera, S. M. S.Bragaglia, V.Arciprete, F.Cecchi, S.Litrico, G.Persch, C.Calarco, R.Rimini, E.
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Issue Date: 2017
Published in: Scientific Reports, Volume 7
Publisher: London : Nature Publishing Group
Abstract: GeSbTe-based materials exhibit multiple crystalline phases, from disordered rocksalt, to rocksalt with ordered vacancy layers, and to the stable trigonal phase. In this paper we investigate the role of the interfaces on the structural and electrical properties of Ge2Sb2Te5. We find that the site of nucleation of the metastable rocksalt phase is crucial in determining the evolution towards vacancy ordering and the stable phase. By properly choosing the substrate and the capping layers, nucleation sites engineering can be obtained, thus promoting or preventing the vacancy ordering in the rocksalt structure or the conversion into the trigonal phase. The vacancy ordering occurs at lower annealing temperatures (170 °C) for films deposited in the amorphous phase on silicon (111), compared to the case of SiO2 substrate (200 °C), or in presence of a capping layer (330 °C). The mechanisms governing the nucleation have been explained in terms of interfacial energies. Resistance variations of about one order of magnitude have been measured upon transition from the disordered to the ordered rocksalt structure and then to the trigonal phase. The possibility to control the formation of the crystalline phases characterized by marked resistivity contrast is of fundamental relevance for the development of multilevel phase change data storage.
Keywords: Information storage; Surfaces; interfaces and thin films
DDC: 530
License: CC BY 4.0 Unported
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