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Nano Lett. 2013 Aug 14;13(8):3501-5. doi: 10.1021/nl400888p. Epub 2013 Jul 12.

Crystalline-crystalline phase transformation in two-dimensional In2Se3 thin layers.

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Department of Physics and Astronomy, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington 99164, United States.


We report, for the first time, the fabrication of single-crystal In2Se3 thin layers using mechanical exfoliation and studies of crystalline-crystalline (α → β) phase transformations as well as the corresponding changes of the electrical properties in these thin layers. Particularly, using electron microscopy and correlative in situ micro-Raman and electrical measurements, we show that, in contrast to bulk single crystals, the β phase can persist in single-crystal thin layers at room temperature (RT). The single-crystal nature of the layers before and after the phase transition allows for unambiguous determination of changes in the electrical resistivity. Specifically, the β phase has an electrical resistivity about 1-2 orders of magnitude lower than the α phase. Furthermore, we find that the temperature of the α → β phase transformation increases by as much as 130 K with the layer thickness decreasing from ~87 nm to ~4 nm. These single-crystal thin layers are ideal for studying the scaling behavior of the phase transformations and associated changes of the electrical properties. For these In2Se3 thin layers, the accessibility of the β phase at RT, with distinct electrical properties than the α phase, provides the basis for multilevel phase-change memories in a single material system.


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