Characterization of phase-change behavior of a Ge2Sb2Te5 thin film using finely controlled electrical pulses for switching

Hyun Cheol Lee, Jin Hwan Jeong, Doo Jin Choi

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7 Citations (Scopus)


We studied the phase-change behavior of Ge2Sb2Te5, which is a chalcogenide material widely used in phase-change memory, using precisely controlled electrical pulses to improve the efficiency of the switching operation. The electrical pulse is a critical parameter that supplies source energy to reversibly switch the phase of the material between amorphous and crystalline. The electrical pulse conditions are classified into rising time, setting time (ST) and falling time (FT). We investigated the individual influence of each step on the phase of the material with fine nanoscale pulses. We also studied the complex influence of the ratio of ST and FT to investigate the correlation among the steps. The result showed that the state of the phase-change material and electrical properties were significantly determined according to the specific condition of the pulse. Furthermore, we used transmission electron microscopy to observe the cross-sectional images of the material to confirm these phenomena. Finally, retention cycling tests were performed to elucidate the most stable conditions of the material with respect to the specific ratio of the electrical pulses. The results indicated that the FT should be more than double the ST for the SET operation and more than 10% of the ST for the RESET operation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number095006
JournalSemiconductor Science and Technology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Aug 10

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 IOP Publishing Ltd.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


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