Scientific Reports

Localised states and their capture characteristics in amorphous phase-change materials

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As phase-change materials are poised to play a key role in next-generation computing systems, improving the current understanding of electrical transport in their amorphous phase can further strengthen their technological competitiveness. Even though the interaction of charge carriers with disorder-induced localised states largely affect the field-dependent conductivity, a clear link between electrical transport and specific features of the electronic density of states (DOS) could not be established yet due to a lack of knowledge of the capture characteristics of trap states. Here, we address this knowledge gap and employ modulated photocurrent spectroscopy (MPC) to investigate localised states in the frequently studied amorphous phase of Ge 2 Sb 2 Te 5 . Additionally, we present results on the DOS in the bandgap of amorphous AgIn-doped Sb 2 Te, which has not been subject to high-resolution DOS spectroscopy before. We find experimental evidence for clearly non-constant capture coefficients among a continuous spectrum of localised states in both studied materials. According to this observation especially in AgIn-doped Sb 2 Te, where no pronounced defect can be detected as main channel for carrier emission, we point out the necessity of modifying the current Poole-Frenkel-based transport modelling.


29 Apr 2019


Scientific Reports