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Phys Rev Lett. 2006 Jun 30;96(25):255501. Epub 2006 Jun 28.

Application of bond constraint theory to the switchable optical memory material Ge2Sb2Te5.

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Physics Department, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695-8202, USA.


A new extended x-ray-absorption fine structure spectroscopy study of local bonding identifies for the first time significant concentrations of Ge-Ge bonds in amorphous Ge2Sb2Te5. The study provides a new understanding of the local molecular structure of this phase-change material. Application of bond constraint theory indicates that the amorphous phase is an ideal network structure in which the average number of constraints per atom equals the network dimensionality. Analysis within this framework imparts new and significant insights concerning the nature of the reversible optically driven amorphous-crystalline phase transition of Ge2Sb2Te5.

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