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In situ transmission electron microscopy analysis of electron beam induced crystallization of amorphous marks in phase-change materials

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3 Author(s)
Kaiser, M. ; Philips Research Laboratories, Prof. Holstlaan 4, 5656 AA Eindhoven, The Netherlands ; van Pieterson, L. ; Verheijen, M.A.

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Crystallization of amorphous data marks in crystalline Ga15Sb85 and Ge,In doped SbTe phase-change material was studied in situ in a Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM). Electron irradiation induced crystallization was obtained at room temperature using a 120 kV beam. In general, electron beam (e--beam) induced crystallization started from the amorphous-crystalline interface and was growth dominated for both materials. A dependence of growth velocity on electron beam intensity and crystal direction was observed. A comparison with laser-crystallized amorphous marks was made. For laser-induced crystallization also crystal growth from the amorphous-crystalline interface was seen. However, differences in morphology between the e--beam and laser-recrystallized data marks of the GaSb phase-change material were observed. The electron beam erased data marks contained crystals with (extremely) large periodicities found in three dimensions. For the Ge,In doped SbTe phase-change material identical morphologies were observed for the e--beam and laser-recrystallized data marks. Both methods that induce crystallization displayed a rhombohedral Sb structure, the same structure as the laser-crystallized surroundings.

Published in:

Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:96 ,  Issue: 6 )