In Situ Transmission Electron Microscopy Observation of Nanostructural Changes in Phase-Change Memory

Handle URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10754/598598
Title:
In Situ Transmission Electron Microscopy Observation of Nanostructural Changes in Phase-Change Memory
Authors:
Meister, Stefan; Kim, SangBum; Cha, Judy J.; Wong, H.-S. Philip; Cui, Yi
Abstract:
Phase-change memory (PCM) has been researched extensively as a promising alternative to flash memory. Important studies have focused on its scalability, switching speed, endurance, and new materials. Still, reliability issues and inconsistent switching in PCM devices motivate the need to further study its fundamental properties. However, many investigations treat PCM cells as black boxes; nanostructural changes inside the devices remain hidden. Here, using in situ transmission electron microscopy, we observe real-time nanostructural changes in lateral Ge2Sb2Te5 (GST) PCM bridges during switching. We find that PCM devices with similar resistances can exhibit distinct threshold switching behaviors due to the different initial distribution of nanocrystalline and amorphous domains, explaining variability of switching behaviors of PCM cells in the literature. Our findings show a direct correlation between nanostructure and switching behavior, providing important guidelines in the design and operation of future PCM devices with improved endurance and lower variability. © 2011 American Chemical Society.
Citation:
Meister S, Kim S, Cha JJ, Wong H-SP, Cui Y (2011) In Situ Transmission Electron Microscopy Observation of Nanostructural Changes in Phase-Change Memory . ACS Nano 5: 2742–2748. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/nn1031356.
Publisher:
American Chemical Society (ACS)
Journal:
ACS Nano
KAUST Grant Number:
KUS-I1-001-12
Issue Date:
26-Apr-2011
DOI:
10.1021/nn1031356
PubMed ID:
21425849
Type:
Article
ISSN:
1936-0851; 1936-086X
Sponsors:
Y.C. acknowledges the support from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Investigator Award (No. KUS-I1-001-12) and from the Stanford Nonvolatile Memory Technology Research Initiative.
Appears in Collections:
Publications Acknowledging KAUST Support

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorMeister, Stefanen
dc.contributor.authorKim, SangBumen
dc.contributor.authorCha, Judy J.en
dc.contributor.authorWong, H.-S. Philipen
dc.contributor.authorCui, Yien
dc.date.accessioned2016-02-25T13:32:51Zen
dc.date.available2016-02-25T13:32:51Zen
dc.date.issued2011-04-26en
dc.identifier.citationMeister S, Kim S, Cha JJ, Wong H-SP, Cui Y (2011) In Situ Transmission Electron Microscopy Observation of Nanostructural Changes in Phase-Change Memory . ACS Nano 5: 2742–2748. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/nn1031356.en
dc.identifier.issn1936-0851en
dc.identifier.issn1936-086Xen
dc.identifier.pmid21425849en
dc.identifier.doi10.1021/nn1031356en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10754/598598en
dc.description.abstractPhase-change memory (PCM) has been researched extensively as a promising alternative to flash memory. Important studies have focused on its scalability, switching speed, endurance, and new materials. Still, reliability issues and inconsistent switching in PCM devices motivate the need to further study its fundamental properties. However, many investigations treat PCM cells as black boxes; nanostructural changes inside the devices remain hidden. Here, using in situ transmission electron microscopy, we observe real-time nanostructural changes in lateral Ge2Sb2Te5 (GST) PCM bridges during switching. We find that PCM devices with similar resistances can exhibit distinct threshold switching behaviors due to the different initial distribution of nanocrystalline and amorphous domains, explaining variability of switching behaviors of PCM cells in the literature. Our findings show a direct correlation between nanostructure and switching behavior, providing important guidelines in the design and operation of future PCM devices with improved endurance and lower variability. © 2011 American Chemical Society.en
dc.description.sponsorshipY.C. acknowledges the support from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Investigator Award (No. KUS-I1-001-12) and from the Stanford Nonvolatile Memory Technology Research Initiative.en
dc.publisherAmerican Chemical Society (ACS)en
dc.subjectcharacterization toolsen
dc.subjectdata storageen
dc.subjectnanostructuresen
dc.subjectthin filmsen
dc.titleIn Situ Transmission Electron Microscopy Observation of Nanostructural Changes in Phase-Change Memoryen
dc.typeArticleen
dc.identifier.journalACS Nanoen
dc.contributor.institutionStanford University, Palo Alto, United Statesen
kaust.grant.numberKUS-I1-001-12en

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