Reduction of RESET current in phase change memory devices by carbon doping in GeSbTe films

J. H. Park, S. W. Kim, J. H. Kim, Z. Wu, S. L. Cho, D. Ahn, D. H. Ahn, J. M. Lee, S. U. Nam, D. H. Ko

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35 Citations (Scopus)


Phase Change Memory (PCM) has been proposed for use as a substitute for flash memory to satisfy the huge demands for high performance and reliability that promise to come in the next generation. In spite of its high scalability, reliability, and simple structure, high writing current, e.g., RESET current, has been a significant obstacle to achieving a high density in storage applications and the low power consumption required for use in mobile applications. We report herein on an attempt to determine the level of carbon incorporated into a GeSbTe (GST) film that is needed to reduce the RESET current of PCM devices. The crystal structure of the film was transformed into an amorphous phase by carbon doping, the stability of which was enhanced with increasing carbon content. This was verified by the small grain size and large band gap that are typically associated with carbon. The increased level of C-Ge covalent bonding is responsible for these enhancements. Thus, the resistance of the carbon doped Ge2Sb2Te5 film was higher than that for an undoped GST film by a factor of 2 orders of magnitude after producing a stable face-centered cubic phase by annealing. As a consequence, the PCM devices showed a significant reduction in RESET current as low as 23% when the carbon content was increased to 11.8 at. %. This can be attributed to the elevated SET resistance, which is proportional to the dynamic resistance of the PCM device, caused by the high resistance due to a carbon doped GST film.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115703
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Mar 21

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© 2015 AIP Publishing LLC.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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