IEDM 2010
Conference paper

The impact of hole-induced electromigration on the cycling endurance of phase change memory

View publication


The high current density induced failure in Ge2Sb 2Te5(GST)-based phase change memory (PCM) is investigated. A strong dependence of cycling endurance on the polarity of the operation current is observed and reported for the first time. The cycling endurance is reduced by 4 orders of magnitude when the current polarity is reversed. Careful TEM analysis of failed cells revealed a thin void in GST over the bottom electrode, but only in the reverse polarity samples. This phenomenon can be explained by hole-induced electromigration at the electrode/GST interface. The impact of electromigration on scaled phase change memory is discussed. ©2010 IEEE.