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Amorphization of crystalline phase change material by ion implantation

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Germanium ion implantation at an energy of 30 keV was used as a different method to re-amorphize thin films of crystalline phase change material Ge 2Sb2Te5 (GST). It was found that rather low doses of 5x1013 cm-2 were sufficient to re-amorphize GST. Amorphization was determined by X-ray diffraction (XRD) as well as reflectivity measurements. Re-crystallization characteristics of ion-implantation-amorphized samples was studied using time-resolved XRD. It showed that samples re-crystallize at an increased crystallization temperature with increasing dose compared to as-deposited material. A static laser tester was applied to measure the crystallization times of material that was (1) as-deposited amorphous; (2) crystallized by annealing and re-amorphized by melt-quenching using a laser pulse; and (3) crystallized by annealing and re-amorphized by ion implantation. It was found that as-deposited amorphous and high-dose ion implanted samples had longer crystallization times while melt-quenched amorphous and low-dose ion implanted samples had shorter crystallization times. © 2010 Materials Research Society.