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Title: Correlative transmission electron microscopy and electrical properties study of switchable phase-change random access memory line cells

Phase-change memory line cells, where the active material has a thickness of 15 nm, were prepared for transmission electron microscopy (TEM) observation such that they still could be switched and characterized electrically after the preparation. The result of these observations in comparison with detailed electrical characterization showed (i) normal behavior for relatively long amorphous marks, resulting in a hyperbolic dependence between SET resistance and SET current, indicating a switching mechanism based on initially long and thin nanoscale crystalline filaments which thicken gradually, and (ii) anomalous behavior, which holds for relatively short amorphous marks, where initially directly a massive crystalline filament is formed that consumes most of the width of the amorphous mark only leaving minor residual amorphous regions at its edges. The present results demonstrate that even in (purposely) thick TEM samples, the TEM sample preparation hampers the probability to observe normal behavior and it can be debated whether it is possible to produce electrically switchable TEM specimen in which the memory cells behave the same as in their original bulk embedded state.
Authors:
;  [1] ; ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [6]
  1. Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials and Materials innovation institute M2i, University of Groningen, Nijenborgh 4, 9747 AG Groningen (Netherlands)
  2. NXP, Gerstweg 2, 6534 AE Nijmegen (Netherlands)
  3. Department of Applied Physics, Eindhoven University of Technology, NL-5600 MB Eindhoven (Netherlands)
  4. (Netherlands)
  5. NXP Semiconductors, High Tech Campus 60, 5656 AE Eindhoven (Netherlands)
  6. NXP Semiconductors, Kapeldreef 75, B 3001 Leuven (Belgium)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22413109
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Applied Physics; Journal Volume: 117; Journal Issue: 6; Other Information: (c) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY; AMORPHOUS STATE; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; ELECTRIC CONDUCTIVITY; ELECTRIC CURRENTS; ELECTRICAL PROPERTIES; FILAMENTS; NANOSTRUCTURES; PHASE CHANGE MATERIALS; PROBABILITY; RANDOMNESS; SAMPLE PREPARATION; SWITCHES; THICKNESS; TRANSMISSION ELECTRON MICROSCOPY