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Dynamics of laser-induced phase switching in GeTe films

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6 Author(s)
Gawelda, W. ; Laser Processing Group, Instituto de Óptica, CSIC, Serrano 121, E-28006 Madrid, Spain ; Siegel, J. ; Afonso, C.N. ; Plausinaitiene, V.
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Phase switching in GeTe thin films (grown using a modified metal organic chemical vapor deposition system) upon pulsed femtosecond and nanosecond laser irradiation has been studied. Two in situ methods, i.e., optical microscopy and real-time reflectivity measurements, have been used in order to compare the optical response before and after phase change and to follow the phase change dynamics with a time resolution close to 400 ps. The results show that cycling is possible under irradiation with both fs and ns pulses using single pulses for amorphization and multiple pulses for crystallization. The use of ns pulses favors the crystalline-to-amorphous phase transformation, with a characteristic transformation time of ∼15 ns. The presence of the liquid phase was identified and temporally resolved, featuring a well-defined transient reflectivity state, in between those of the crystalline and amorphous phases. We have also studied the role of material configuration in the phase change dynamics and the mechanisms involved in the re-crystallization process.

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Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:109 ,  Issue: 12 )