On the photoinduced phase transition from the amorphous to crystalline phase in (GeTe) n (Sb2Te3) m

  • Sergei M. Yakubenya
  • Andrey S. Mishchenko
Regular Article


We suggest a phenomenological description of the photo-conversion in Ge-Sb-Te phase-change memory alloys from amorphous to crystalline tetrahedral phase. Suggested mechanism explains why both photo-excitation and high enough temperatures T > 160 °C are required for the transition from the amorphous to metastable crystalline phase. High energy position of chemical potential at elevated temperatures facilitates light induced creation of stable nucleons of the crystalline phase which are unstable at lower T. Then, light driven population of nucleons leads to accumulation of holes on neighboring Te and Ge ions and locks the photo-conversion transition by pushing Ge ions into the interstitial position to minimize the Coulomb repulsion energy.


Solid State and Materials 


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Copyright information

© EDP Sciences, SIF, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NRC “Kurchatov Institute”MoscowRussia
  2. 2.RIKEN Center for Emergent Matter Science (CEMS), 2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, 351-0198 SaitamaJapan

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