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Nat Mater. 2007 May;6(5):352-6. Epub 2007 Apr 8.

Solution-phase deposition and nanopatterning of GeSbSe phase-change materials.

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IBM Almaden Research Center, 650 Harry Road, San Jose, California 95120, USA.


Chalcogenide films with reversible amorphous-crystalline phase transitions have been commercialized as optically rewritable data-storage media, and intensive effort is now focused on integrating them into electrically addressed non-volatile memory devices (phase-change random-access memory or PCRAM). Although optical data storage is accomplished by laser-induced heating of continuous films, electronic memory requires integration of discrete nanoscale phase-change material features with read/write electronics. Currently, phase-change films are most commonly deposited by sputter deposition, and patterned by conventional lithography. Metal chalcogenide films for transistor applications have recently been deposited by a low-temperature, solution-phase route. Here, we extend this methodology to prepare thin films and nanostructures of GeSbSe phase-change materials. We report the ready tuneability of phase-change properties in GeSbSe films through composition variation achieved by combining novel precursors in solution. Rapid, submicrosecond phase switching is observed by laser-pulse annealing. We also demonstrate that prepatterned holes can be filled to fabricate phase-change nanostructures from hundreds down to tens of nanometres in size, offering enhanced flexibility in fabricating PCRAM devices with reduced current requirements.

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