APL Materials

Unusual crystallization behavior in Ga-Sb phase change alloys

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Combined in situ X-ray scattering techniques using synchrotron radiation were applied to investigate the crystallization behavior of Sb-rich Ga-Sb alloys. Measurements of the sheet resistance during heating indicated a reduced crystallization temperature with increased Sb content, which was confirmed by in situ X-ray diffraction. The electrical contrast increased with increasing Sb content and the resistivities in both the amorphous and crystalline phases decreased. It was found that by tuning the composition between Ga:Sb = 9:91 (in at.%) and Ga:Sb = 45:55, the change in mass density upon crystallization changes from an increase in mass density which is typical for most phase change materials to a decrease in mass density. At the composition of Ga:Sb = 30:70, no mass density change is observed which should be very beneficial for phase change random access memory (PCRAM) applications where a change in mass density during cycling is assumed to cause void formation and PCRAM device failure. © 2013 Author(s).