By virtue of their unique electronic properties, nanometer-diameter sized single-walled carbon nanotubes represent ideal candidates to function as active parts of nanoelectronic memory storage devices. We show for the first time that GeTe, a phase change material, currently considered to be one of the most promising materials for data-storage applications, can efficiently be encapsulated within single-walled carbon nanontubes of 1.4 nm diameter. Structural investigations on the encapsulated GeTe nanowires have been carried out by high resolution transmission electron microscopy. The electronic interactions between the filling material and the host nanotube have been examined using ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy experiments and show that the electronic structure of the encapsulating nanotube and that of the encased filling are not perturbed by the presence of each of the other component.
The newly formed hybrids offer potential to operate as active elements in non-volatile electronic memory storage devices.