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Mechanism of Threshold Switching in Chalcogenide Phase Change Memory Devices

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3 Author(s)
Karpov, I. ; Intel Corp., Santa Clara ; Savransky, S. ; Karpov, V.

Chalcogenide-based Phase Change Memory (PCM) utilizes electrically initiated, reversible rapid amorphous-to-crystalline phase-change in chalcogenide materials, such as Ge2Sb2Te5 (GST). The markedly different crystalline and amorphous state resistances are used as the two logic states in PCM. The typical IV characteristics of PCM. The upper IV branch 1 describes the processes in crystalline phase where the current (reset pulse) generated Joule heat melts the surrounding material. When the current is off, the material rapidly cools down freezing in its amorphous state. After the bias across the amorphous phase grows above the threshold value, Vth, the system idles for a certain 'delay' time taud and then switches to a low resistive state (branch 3) in a short time taus. The mechanism of threshold switching in PCM and its dependence on material parameters remains a puzzle.

Published in:

Non-Volatile Semiconductor Memory Workshop, 2007 22nd IEEE

Date of Conference:

26-30 Aug. 2007