Investigation on the role of nitrogen in crystallization of Sb-rich phase change materials

Jihoon Choi; Hyun Seok Lee; Taek Sung Lee; Suyoun Lee; Won Mok Kim; Donghwan Kim; Byung-ki Cheong
August 2009
Applied Physics Letters;8/24/2009, Vol. 95 Issue 8, p081905
Academic Journal
To better understand the role of nitrogen (N) during crystallization of Sb-rich phase change materials, a study was conducted using Sb and Sb70Te30 as host materials of N. Crystallization of the as-sputtered Sb–N films of varying N content was examined to reveal that Sb–N bonds are formed in the as-sputtered states, enhancing amorphous phase stability increasingly with N content. Crystallization appeared to proceed with irreversible dissociation of these bonds to form N2 molecules that may then exist stably during the subsequent memory operations. N2 molecules are considered to play as growth-retarding agents as demonstrated with memory operations of N-doped Sb70Te30.


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