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Title: Picosecond electric-field-induced threshold switching in phase-change materials [THz-induced threshold switching and crystallization of phase-change materials]

Many chalcogenide glasses undergo a breakdown in electronic resistance above a critical field strength. Known as threshold switching, this mechanism enables field-induced crystallization in emerging phase-change memory. Purely electronic as well as crystal nucleation assisted models have been employed to explain the electronic breakdown. Here, picosecond electric pulses are used to excite amorphous Ag4In3Sb67Te26. Field-dependent reversible changes in conductivity and pulse-driven crystallization are observed. The present results show that threshold switching can take place within the electric pulse on subpicosecond time scales—faster than crystals can nucleate. As a result, this supports purely electronic models of threshold switching and reveals potential applications as an ultrafast electronic switch.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [5] ;  [5] ;  [5] ;  [5] ;  [5] ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [6] ;  [6] ;  [6] ;  [6] ;  [2]
  1. SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States); European XFEL, Schenefeld (Germany)
  2. SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States); Stanford Univ., Stanford, CA (United States)
  3. SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
  4. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
  5. Stanford Univ., Stanford, CA (United States)
  6. RWTH Aachen Univ., Aachen (Germany)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-06CH11357
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physical Review Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 117; Journal Issue: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 0031-9007
Publisher:
American Physical Society (APS)
Research Org:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY
OSTI Identifier:
1341736
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1283426