Activation energy of metastable amorphous Ge2Sb2Te5 from room temperature to melt
Resistivity of metastable amorphous Ge2Sb2Te5 (GST) measured at device level show an exponential decline with temperature matching with the steady-state thin-film resistivity measured at 858 K (melting temperature). This suggests that the free carrier activation mechanisms form a continuum in a large temperature scale (300 K - 858 K) and the metastable amorphous phase can be treated as a super-cooled liquid. The effective activation energy calculated using the resistivity versus temperature data follow a parabolic behavior, with a room temperature value of 333 meV, peaking to ∼377 meV at ∼465 K and reaching zero at ∼930 K, using a reference activation energy of 111 meV (3kBT/2) at melt. Amorphous GST is expected to behave as a p-type semiconductor at Tmelt ∼ 858 K and transitions from the semiconducting-liquid phase to the metallic-liquid phase at ∼ 930 K at equilibrium. The simultaneous Seebeck (S) and resistivity versus temperature measurements of amorphous-fcc mixed-phase GST thin-films show linear S-T trends that meet S = 0 at 0 K, consistent with degenerate semiconductors, and the dS/dT and room temperature activation energy show a linear correlation. The single-crystal fcc is calculated to have dS/dT = 0.153 μV/K2 for an activation energy of zero and a Fermi level 0.16 eV below the valance band edge.