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Nanomechanical morphology of amorphous, transition, and crystalline domains in phase change memory thin films

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Nanomechanical morphology of amorphous, transition, and crystalline domains in phase change memory thin films. / Bosse, Jim; Grishin, Ilja; Huey, Bryan; Kolosov, Oleg.

In: Applied Surface Science, Vol. 314, 30.09.2014, p. 151-157.

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Bosse, Jim ; Grishin, Ilja ; Huey, Bryan ; Kolosov, Oleg. / Nanomechanical morphology of amorphous, transition, and crystalline domains in phase change memory thin films. In: Applied Surface Science. 2014 ; Vol. 314. pp. 151-157.

Bibtex

@article{fdd37fbadfae44e38a946aa591af91ff,
title = "Nanomechanical morphology of amorphous, transition, and crystalline domains in phase change memory thin films",
abstract = "In the search for phase change materials (PCM) that may rival traditional random access memory, a complete understanding of the amorphous to crystalline phase transition is required. For the well-known Ge2Sb2Te5 (GST) and GeTe (GT) chalcogenides, which display nucleation and growth dominated crystallization kinetics, respectively, this work explores the nanomechanical morphology of amorphous and crystalline phases in 50 nm thin films. Subjecting these PCM specimens to a lateral thermal gradient spanning the crystallization temperature allows for a detailed morphological investigation. Surface and depth-dependent analyses of the resulting amorphous, transition and crystalline regions are achieved with shallow angle cross-sections, uniquely implemented with beam exit Ar ion polishing. To resolve the distinct phases, ultrasonic force microscopy (UFM) with simultaneous topography is implemented revealing a relative stiffness contrast between the amorphous and crystalline phases of 14% for the free film surface and 20% for the cross-sectioned surface. Nucleation is observed to occur preferentially at the PCM-substrate and free film interface for both GST and GT, while fine subsurface structures are found to be sputtering direction dependent. Combining surface and cross-section nanomechanical mapping in this manner allows 3D analysis of microstructure and defects with nanoscale lateral and depth resolution, applicable to a wide range of materials characterization studies where the detection of subtle variations in elastic modulus or stiffness are required.",
keywords = "Phase Change Memory, AFM, UFM, Chalcogenide, Morphology, Stiffness, Cross-section",
author = "Jim Bosse and Ilja Grishin and Bryan Huey and Oleg Kolosov",
year = "2014",
month = sep,
day = "30",
doi = "10.1016/j.apsusc.2014.06.135",
language = "English",
volume = "314",
pages = "151--157",
journal = "Applied Surface Science",
issn = "0169-4332",
publisher = "Elsevier",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Nanomechanical morphology of amorphous, transition, and crystalline domains in phase change memory thin films

AU - Bosse, Jim

AU - Grishin, Ilja

AU - Huey, Bryan

AU - Kolosov, Oleg

PY - 2014/9/30

Y1 - 2014/9/30

N2 - In the search for phase change materials (PCM) that may rival traditional random access memory, a complete understanding of the amorphous to crystalline phase transition is required. For the well-known Ge2Sb2Te5 (GST) and GeTe (GT) chalcogenides, which display nucleation and growth dominated crystallization kinetics, respectively, this work explores the nanomechanical morphology of amorphous and crystalline phases in 50 nm thin films. Subjecting these PCM specimens to a lateral thermal gradient spanning the crystallization temperature allows for a detailed morphological investigation. Surface and depth-dependent analyses of the resulting amorphous, transition and crystalline regions are achieved with shallow angle cross-sections, uniquely implemented with beam exit Ar ion polishing. To resolve the distinct phases, ultrasonic force microscopy (UFM) with simultaneous topography is implemented revealing a relative stiffness contrast between the amorphous and crystalline phases of 14% for the free film surface and 20% for the cross-sectioned surface. Nucleation is observed to occur preferentially at the PCM-substrate and free film interface for both GST and GT, while fine subsurface structures are found to be sputtering direction dependent. Combining surface and cross-section nanomechanical mapping in this manner allows 3D analysis of microstructure and defects with nanoscale lateral and depth resolution, applicable to a wide range of materials characterization studies where the detection of subtle variations in elastic modulus or stiffness are required.

AB - In the search for phase change materials (PCM) that may rival traditional random access memory, a complete understanding of the amorphous to crystalline phase transition is required. For the well-known Ge2Sb2Te5 (GST) and GeTe (GT) chalcogenides, which display nucleation and growth dominated crystallization kinetics, respectively, this work explores the nanomechanical morphology of amorphous and crystalline phases in 50 nm thin films. Subjecting these PCM specimens to a lateral thermal gradient spanning the crystallization temperature allows for a detailed morphological investigation. Surface and depth-dependent analyses of the resulting amorphous, transition and crystalline regions are achieved with shallow angle cross-sections, uniquely implemented with beam exit Ar ion polishing. To resolve the distinct phases, ultrasonic force microscopy (UFM) with simultaneous topography is implemented revealing a relative stiffness contrast between the amorphous and crystalline phases of 14% for the free film surface and 20% for the cross-sectioned surface. Nucleation is observed to occur preferentially at the PCM-substrate and free film interface for both GST and GT, while fine subsurface structures are found to be sputtering direction dependent. Combining surface and cross-section nanomechanical mapping in this manner allows 3D analysis of microstructure and defects with nanoscale lateral and depth resolution, applicable to a wide range of materials characterization studies where the detection of subtle variations in elastic modulus or stiffness are required.

KW - Phase Change Memory

KW - AFM

KW - UFM

KW - Chalcogenide

KW - Morphology

KW - Stiffness

KW - Cross-section

U2 - 10.1016/j.apsusc.2014.06.135

DO - 10.1016/j.apsusc.2014.06.135

M3 - Journal article

VL - 314

SP - 151

EP - 157

JO - Applied Surface Science

JF - Applied Surface Science

SN - 0169-4332

ER -