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

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Edwards T. G. , Hung I., Gan Z., Kalkan B. , Raoux S., Sen S.

JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS, cilt.114, sa.23, 2013 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier

  • Yayın Türü: Makale / Tam Makale
  • Cilt numarası: 114 Konu: 23
  • Basım Tarihi: 2013
  • Doi Numarası: 10.1063/1.4854575


Ga-Sb alloys with compositions ranging between similar to 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 Ga14Sb86 and Ga46Sb54 are investigated, in their amorphous and crystalline states, using Ga-71 and Sb-121 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. (C) 2013 AIP Publishing LLC.