skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Direct Observation of Amorphous to Crystalline Phase Transitions in Nano-Particle Arrays of Phase Change Materials

Abstract

We have used time-resolved x-ray diffraction to study the amorphous-crystalline phase transition in 20-80?nm particles of the phase change materials Ge2Sb2Te5, nitrogen-doped Ge2Sb2Te5, Ge15Sb85, Sb2Te, and Sb2Te doped with Ag and In. We find that all samples undergo the phase transition with crystallization temperatures close to those of similarly prepared blanket films of the same materials with the exception of Sb2Te that shows the transition at a temperature that is about 40? C higher than that of blanket films. Some of the nanoparticles show a difference in crystallographic texture compared to thick films. Large area arrays of these nanoparticles were fabricated using electron-beam lithography, keeping the sample temperatures well below the crystallization temperatures so as to produce particles that were entirely in the amorphous phase. The observation that particles with diameters as small as 20?nm can still undergo this phase transition indicates that phase change solid-state memory technology should scale to these dimensions.

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) National Synchrotron Light Source
Sponsoring Org.:
Doe - Office Of Science
OSTI Identifier:
959692
Report Number(s):
BNL-82678-2009-JA
Journal ID: ISSN 0021-8979; JAPIAU; TRN: US201016%%836
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC02-98CH10886
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Applied Physics; Journal Volume: 102
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; CRYSTALLIZATION; DIMENSIONS; PHASE CHANGE MATERIALS; TEXTURE; X-RAY DIFFRACTION; PHASE TRANSFORMATIONS; national synchrotron light source

Citation Formats

Raoux,S., Rettner, C., Jordan-Sweet, J., Kellock, A., Topuria, T., Rice, P., and Miller, D.. Direct Observation of Amorphous to Crystalline Phase Transitions in Nano-Particle Arrays of Phase Change Materials. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.1063/1.2801000.
Raoux,S., Rettner, C., Jordan-Sweet, J., Kellock, A., Topuria, T., Rice, P., & Miller, D.. Direct Observation of Amorphous to Crystalline Phase Transitions in Nano-Particle Arrays of Phase Change Materials. United States. doi:10.1063/1.2801000.
Raoux,S., Rettner, C., Jordan-Sweet, J., Kellock, A., Topuria, T., Rice, P., and Miller, D.. Mon . "Direct Observation of Amorphous to Crystalline Phase Transitions in Nano-Particle Arrays of Phase Change Materials". United States. doi:10.1063/1.2801000.
@article{osti_959692,
title = {Direct Observation of Amorphous to Crystalline Phase Transitions in Nano-Particle Arrays of Phase Change Materials},
author = {Raoux,S. and Rettner, C. and Jordan-Sweet, J. and Kellock, A. and Topuria, T. and Rice, P. and Miller, D.},
abstractNote = {We have used time-resolved x-ray diffraction to study the amorphous-crystalline phase transition in 20-80?nm particles of the phase change materials Ge2Sb2Te5, nitrogen-doped Ge2Sb2Te5, Ge15Sb85, Sb2Te, and Sb2Te doped with Ag and In. We find that all samples undergo the phase transition with crystallization temperatures close to those of similarly prepared blanket films of the same materials with the exception of Sb2Te that shows the transition at a temperature that is about 40? C higher than that of blanket films. Some of the nanoparticles show a difference in crystallographic texture compared to thick films. Large area arrays of these nanoparticles were fabricated using electron-beam lithography, keeping the sample temperatures well below the crystallization temperatures so as to produce particles that were entirely in the amorphous phase. The observation that particles with diameters as small as 20?nm can still undergo this phase transition indicates that phase change solid-state memory technology should scale to these dimensions.},
doi = {10.1063/1.2801000},
journal = {Journal of Applied Physics},
number = ,
volume = 102,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2007},
month = {Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2007}
}
  • The features of structural and phase transitions during severe plastic deformation (in Bridgman anvils) of the amorphous Ti{sub 50}Ni{sub 25}Cu{sub 25} alloy have been studied by X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy. Application of successively increasing deformation has revealed three cycles of successive phase transitions from amorphous to crystalline state and vice versa. The results obtained are explained in terms of the superposition of the different channels of elastic energy dissipation, which are activated during severe plastic deformation.
  • THz and DC losses in crystalline states of GeSbTe and AgInSbTe phase-change material systems are re-examined and discussed. Although a simple free carrier transport has been assumed so far in the GeSbTe (GST) system, it is shown through recent experimental results that a series sequence of intragrain and intergrain (tunneling) transport, as recently formulated in Shimakawa et al., “The origin of non-Drude terahertz conductivity in nanomaterials,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 100, 132102 (2012) may dominate the electronic transport in the commercially utilized GST system, producing a non-Drude THz conductivity. The extracted physical parameters such as the free-carrier density and mobility aremore » significantly different from those obtained from the Drude law. These physical parameters are consistent with those obtained from the DC loss data, and provide further support for the model. Negative temperature coefficient of resistivity is found even in the metallic state, similar to amorphous metals, when the mean free path is short. It is shown that the concept of minimum metallic conductivity, often used in the metal-insulator transition, cannot be applied to electronic transport in these materials.« less
  • We have examined the mechanism of the detection resonance frequency shift, Δf/f, of a 1370 μm long and 537 μm wide [Pb(Mg{sub 1/3}Nb{sub 2/3})O{sub 3}]{sub 0.65}[PbTiO{sub 3}]{sub 0.35} (PMN-PT) piezoelectric plate sensor (PEPS) made of a 8-μm thick PMN-PT freestanding film. The Δf/f of the PEPS was monitored in a three-step binding model detections of (1) binding of maleimide-activated biotin to the sulfhydryl on the PEPS surface followed by (2) binding of streptavidin to the bound biotin and (3) subsequent binding of biotinylated probe deoxyribonucleic acid to the bound streptavidin. We used a PMN-PT surrogate made of the same 8-μm thick PMN-PTmore » freestanding film that the PEPS was made of but was about 1 cm in length and width to carry out crystalline orientation study using X-ray diffraction (XRD) scan around the (002)/(200) peaks after each of the binding steps. The result of the XRD studies indicated that each binding step caused the crystalline orientation of the PMN-PT thin layer to switch from the vertical (002) orientation to the horizontal (200) orientation, and most of the PEPS detection Δf/f was due to the change in the lateral Young's modulus of the PMN-PT thin layer as a result of the crystalline orientation change.« less
  • Ga-Sb alloys with compositions ranging between ∼12 and 50 at. % Ga are promising materials for phase change random access memory applications. The short-range structures of two such alloys with compositions Ga{sub 14}Sb{sub 86} and Ga{sub 46}Sb{sub 54} are investigated, in their amorphous and crystalline states, using {sup 71}Ga and {sup 121}Sb nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and synchrotron x-ray diffraction. The Ga and Sb atoms are fourfold coordinated in the as-deposited amorphous Ga{sub 46}Sb{sub 54} with nearly 40% of the constituent atoms being involved in Ga-Ga and Sb-Sb homopolar bonding. This necessitates extensive bond switching and elimination of homopolar bondsmore » during crystallization. On the other hand, Ga and Sb atoms are all threefold coordinated in the as-deposited amorphous Ga{sub 14}Sb{sub 86}. Crystallization of this material involves phase separation of GaSb domains in Sb matrix and a concomitant increase in the Ga coordination number from 3 to 4. Results from crystallization kinetics experiments suggest that the melt-quenching results in the elimination of structural “defects” such as the homopolar bonds and threefold coordinated Ga atoms in the amorphous phases of these alloys, thereby rendering them structurally more similar to the corresponding crystalline states compared to the as-deposited amorphous phases.« less