Publication
Journal of Applied Physics
Paper

Structural transformations in amorphous ↔ crystalline phase change of Ga-Sb alloys

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Abstract

Ga-Sb alloys with compositions ranging between ∼12 and 50 at. % Ga are promising materials for phase change random access memory applications. The short-range structures of two such alloys with compositions Ga 14Sb86 and Ga46Sb54 are investigated, in their amorphous and crystalline states, using 71Ga and 121Sb nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and synchrotron x-ray diffraction. The Ga and Sb atoms are fourfold coordinated in the as-deposited amorphous Ga46Sb54 with nearly 40% of the constituent atoms being involved in Ga-Ga and Sb-Sb homopolar bonding. This necessitates extensive bond switching and elimination of homopolar bonds during crystallization. On the other hand, Ga and Sb atoms are all threefold coordinated in the as-deposited amorphous Ga14Sb86. Crystallization of this material involves phase separation of GaSb domains in Sb matrix and a concomitant increase in the Ga coordination number from 3 to 4. Results from crystallization kinetics experiments suggest that the melt-quenching results in the elimination of structural "defects" such as the homopolar bonds and threefold coordinated Ga atoms in the amorphous phases of these alloys, thereby rendering them structurally more similar to the corresponding crystalline states compared to the as-deposited amorphous phases. © 2013 AIP Publishing LLC.

Date

20 Dec 2013

Publication

Journal of Applied Physics

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