Chalcogenide-based phase change memory (PCM) is a key enabling technology for optical data storage and electrical nonvolatile memory. Here, we report a new phase change chalcogenide consisting of a 3D network of ionic (K···Se) and covalent bonds (Bi-Se), K2Bi8Se13 (KBS). Thin films of amorphous KBS deposited by DC sputtering are structurally and chemically homogeneous and exhibit a surface roughness of 5 nm. The KBS film crystallizes upon heating at 483 K. The optical bandgap of the amorphous film is about 1.25 eV, while its crystalline phase has a bandgap of ∼0.65 eV shows 2-fold difference between the two states. The bulk electrical conductivity of the amorphous and crystalline film is ∼7.5 × 10-4 and ∼2.7 × 10-2 S/cm, respectively. We have demonstrated a phase change memory effect in KBS by Joule heating in a technologically relevant vertical memory cell architecture. Upon Joule heating, the vertical device undergoes switching from its amorphous to crystalline state of KBS at 1-1.5 V (∼50 kV/cm), increasing conductivity by a factor of ∼40. Besides the large electrical and optical contrast in the crystalline and amorphous KBS, its elemental cost-effectiveness, stoichiometry, fast crystallization kinetics, as determined by the ratio of the glass transition and melting temperature, Tg/Tm ∼0.5, as well as the scalable synthesis of the thin film determine that KBS is a promising PC material for next general phase change memory.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry