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Thickness-dependent Crystallization Behavior of Phase Change Materials

  • Simone Raoux (a1), Jean L. Jordan-Sweet (a2) and Andrew J. Kellock (a3)


We have investigated the crystallization behavior of phase change materials as a function of their thickness. Thin films of variable thickness between 1 and 50nm of the phase change materials Ge2Sb2Te5 (GST), N-doped GST (N-GST), Ge15Sb85 (GeSb), Sb2Te, and Ag and In doped Sb2Te (AIST) were deposited by magnetron sputtering, and capped in situ by a 10nm thick Al2O3 film to prevent oxidation. The crystallization behavior of the films was studied using time-resolved X-ray diffraction. For each material we observed a constant crystallization temperature Tx that was comparable to bulk values for films thicker than 10 nm, and an increased Tx when the film thickness was reduced below 10 nm. The thinnest films that showed XRD peaks were 2 nm for GST and N-GST, 1.5 nm for Sb2Te and AgIn-Sb2Te, and 1.3 nm for GeSb. The observed increase in the phase transition temperature with reduced film thickness and the fact that very thin films still show clear phase change properties are indications that Phase Change Random Access Memory technology can be scaled down to several future technology nodes.



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Thickness-dependent Crystallization Behavior of Phase Change Materials

  • Simone Raoux (a1), Jean L. Jordan-Sweet (a2) and Andrew J. Kellock (a3)


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