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Nonisothermal crystallization kinetics of amorphous chalcogenide Ga–Sb–Te films with compositions along the pseudo-binary tie-lines connecting Sb7Te3−GaSb and Sb2Te3–GaSb of the ternary phase diagram were investigated by means of differential scanning calorimetry. Powder samples were prepared firstly by film deposition using a co-sputtering method; the films were then stripped from the substrate. The activation energy (Ea) and rate factor (Ko) were evaluated from the heating rate dependency of the crystallization temperature using the Kissinger method. The kinetic exponent (n) was deduced from the exothermic peak integrals using the Ozawa method. The crystallization temperature (Tx = 181 to 327 °C) and activation energy (Ea= 2.8 to 6.5 eV) increased monotonically with increasing GaSb content and reached a maximum value in compositions located at the vicinity of GaSb. The kinetic exponent is temperature dependent and shows higher values in the SbTe-rich compositions. Promising media compositions worthy of further studies were identified through the determined kinetics parameters.
Isothermal crystallization kinetics of amorphous Ga–Sb–Te films was studied by means of a time-resolved optical transmission method. Thin films with compositions along the pseudo-binary tie-lines Sb7Te3–GaSb and Sb2Te3–GaSb in the ternary phase diagram were prepared by the co-sputtering method. Crystallization of GaSbTe films reveals a two-stage process: an initial surface nucleation and coarsening (Stage 1) followed by the one-dimensional grain growth (Stage 2). The kinetic exponent (n) value in Stage 1 shows strong dependence on film compositions, while that of Stage 2 is less dependent. The activation energy in Stage 1 increases with increasing GaSb content and reaches the maximum values at compositions close to GaSb, but a decreasing trend was observed in Stage 2. Kinetics parameters between isothermal crystallization of thin films and non-isothermal crystallization of powder samples analyzed by differential scanning colorimetry [J. Mater. Res. 19, 2929 (2004)] are compared. The kinetic parameters in Stage 1 show much correspondence with those of non-isothermal cases in comparable kinetic exponents but with lower activation energies. The discrepancies between nonisothermal and isothermal kinetics are attributed to the sample morphology and the constraint effects.
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