Structural, electronic and kinetic properties of the phase-change material Ge2Sb2Te5 in the liquid state

Mathias Schumacher, Hans Weber, Pál Jóvári, Yoshimi Tsuchiya, Tristan G.A. Youngs, Ivan Kaban, Riccardo Mazzarello

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Abstract

Phase-change materials exhibit fast and reversible transitions between an amorphous and a crystalline state at high temperature. The two states display resistivity contrast, which is exploited in phase-change memory devices. The technologically most important family of phase-change materials consists of Ge-Sb-Te alloys. In this work, we investigate the structural, electronic and kinetic properties of liquid Ge2Sb2Te5 as a function of temperature by a combined experimental and computational approach. Understanding the properties of this phase is important to clarify the amorphization and crystallization processes. We show that the structural properties of the models obtained from ab initio and reverse Monte Carlo simulations are in good agreement with neutron and X-ray diffraction experiments. We extract the kinetic coefficients from the molecular dynamics trajectories and determine the activation energy for viscosity. The obtained value is shown to be fully compatible with our viscosity measurements.

Original languageEnglish
Article number27434
JournalScientific reports
Volume6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 8 2016

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