Phase change properties of Ge2Sb2Te5 compared to Ge4Sb1Te5 with respect to data storage applications
Njoroge, W. K.
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To be able to adjust material properties to the demands of rewritable optical storage applications (high data density and transfer rates) we have investigated and compared the phase change characteristics of thin sputtered Ge2Sb2Te5- and Ge4Sb1Te5-films. Both crystallize into a rocksalt structure at 157C, and 150C, respectively. The material with the higher content of Ge shows a significantly higher activation energy (EA=3.7eV in comparison to EA=2.24eV), as confirmed by temperature dependent electrical measurements. This results in a larger incubation time for laser modification on the ns-scale. Ge2Sb2Te5 shows a second transition into a rather complex hexagonal structure at 310C (EA=3.64eV). The optical properties of both phases are slightly different. Laser modified areas are always in the first phase as confirmed by TEM and SAD. Hence there is a risk of a coexistence of two phases which would lead to an increase of the noise level in storage applications. This can be avoided by using a crystalline matrix with rocksalt structure. By capping the single phase change films with a thin dielectric layer the transition temperatures and activation energies are increasing for both materials, which might be attributed to changes of the tension state at the interface. footnotes the note goes between the ; number. set of curly braces; then put the associated URL in the set. The command may go anywhere in the abstract. the text in the first curly braces will show the printed version.