Phase change memory employing a Ti diffusion barrier for reducing reset current

J. H. Park, S. W. Kim, J. H. Kim, D. H. Ko, Z. Wu, J. K. Ahn, D. H. Ahn, J. M. Lee, S. B. Kang, S. Y. Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Phase Change Memory (PCM) has the potential for use as the flash memories for the next generation due to its scalability, long endurance, high speed, and the possibility of random access. To successfully integrate phase change materials of a GeSbTe (GST) alloy in the device fabrications, the presence of a Ti layer is required to obtain proper contact resistance characteristics and also to improve the adhesion property between the GST alloys and the top TiN electrode. The findings reported herein indicate that Ti can readily diffuse into the GST layer and reduce the set resistance when the subsequent device fabrication involves the heating process. As a result, the reset current significantly increases and the endurance cycles of the PCM device are significantly degraded. We proposed the use of a Highly Nitrogen doped GST (HNGST) layer as a barrier to Ti diffusion, in which the presence of the barrier was able to restore the reset current of the PCM devices down to the level of as-etched PCM cell by the use of a 9 nm thick HNGST barrier. In addition, endurance cycles were significantly enhanced from 106 to over 108 by blocking the diffusion of Ti into the program volume of the cell with the HNGST barrier layer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-140
Number of pages6
JournalThin Solid Films
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Aug 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was financially supported by the National Research Project for Next Generation MLC PRAM Development by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE) of Korea (Grant No. 10039200 ), and the Joint Program for Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (SEC) – Yonsei University .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier B.V.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry


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