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Towards Non-Volatile Memories

Phase change memories already employed in DVDs are currently under investigation for memory applications based on resistive switching. Recently, a new switching mechanism for crystalline compound memories consisting of rhombohedral Sb2Te3 and GeTe multi-layer structures - so-called interfacial phase change memories (IPCM) - has been proposed. Here, the resistive change is accompanied by a displacement of Ge atom at the Sb2Te3/GeTe superlattice interface involving only a fraction of the energy consumption. Recently, we were able to deposit rhombohedral epitaxial Ge1Sb2Te4 layers on Si (111) substrates, which has similarities to IPCM structures. We are investigating the characteristics of this novel material and are studying its potential for non-volatile memory applications.

PCM_TEMFigure 1.:HR-TEM of rhombohedral epitaxial Ge1Sb2Te4 layers. Copyright Manuel Bornhöfft @ GFE, RWTH Aachen.


H. Hardtdegen, S. Rieß, M. Schuck, K. Keller, P. Jost, H. Du, M. Bornhöfft, A. Schwedt, G. Mussler, M. v. d. Ahe, J. Mayer, G. Roth, D. Grützmacher, and M. Mikulics
A model structure for interfacial phase change memories: epitaxial trigonal Ge1Sb2Te4
J. Alloys Compd. vol. 679, pp. 285-292, Sept. 2016.

M. Schuck, S. Rieß, M. Schreiber, G. Mussler, D. Grützmacher, and H. Hardtdegen
Metal organic vapor phase epitaxy of hexagonal Ge–Sb–Te (GST)
J. Cryst. Growth, vol. 420, pp. 37–41, Jun. 2015
DOI: 10.1016/j.jcrysgro.2015.03.034.

H. Hardtdegen, M. Mikulics, S. Rieß, M. Schuck, T. Saltzmann, U. Simon, and M. Longo
Modern chemical synthesis methods towards low-dimensional phase change structures in the Ge–Sb–Te material system
Prog. Cryst. Growth Charact. Mater., vol. 61, no. 2–4, pp. 27–45, Jun. 2015
DOI: 10.1016/j.pcrysgrow.2015.10.001.

Additional Information



device design and fabrication,
electrical and optical characterization
Dr. Martin Mikulics

technical issues MOVPE
Konrad Wirtz