Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 3

Search results for: phase change memory

3 Switching Studies on Ge15In5Te56Ag24 Thin Films

Authors: Diptoshi Roy, G. Sreevidya Varma, S. Asokan, Chandasree Das

Abstract:

Germanium Telluride based quaternary thin film switching devices with composition Ge15In5Te56Ag24, have been deposited in sandwich geometry on glass substrate with aluminum as top and bottom electrodes. The bulk glassy form of the said composition is prepared by melt quenching technique. In this technique, appropriate quantity of elements with high purity are taken in a quartz ampoule and sealed under a vacuum of 10-5 mbar. Then, it is allowed to rotate in a horizontal rotary furnace for 36 hours to ensure homogeneity of the melt. After that, the ampoule is quenched into a mixture of ice - water and NaOH to get the bulk ingot of the sample. The sample is then coated on a glass substrate using flash evaporation technique at a vacuum level of 10-6 mbar. The XRD report reveals the amorphous nature of the thin film sample and Energy - Dispersive X-ray Analysis (EDAX) confirms that the film retains the same chemical composition as that of the base sample. Electrical switching behavior of the device is studied with the help of Keithley (2410c) source-measure unit interfaced with Lab VIEW 7 (National Instruments). Switching studies, mainly SET (changing the state of the material from amorphous to crystalline) operation is conducted on the thin film form of the sample. This device is found to manifest memory switching as the device remains 'ON' even after the removal of the electric field. Also it is found that amorphous Ge15In5Te56Ag24 thin film unveils clean memory type of electrical switching behavior which can be justified by the absence of fluctuation in the I-V characteristics. The I-V characteristic also reveals that the switching is faster in this sample as no data points could be seen in the negative resistance region during the transition to on state and this leads to the conclusion of fast phase change during SET process. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) studies are performed on the chosen sample to study the structural changes at the time of switching. SEM studies on the switched Ge15In5Te56Ag24 sample has shown some morphological changes at the place of switching wherein it can be explained that a conducting crystalline channel is formed in the device when the device switches from high resistance to low resistance state. From these studies it can be concluded that the material may find its application in fast switching Non-Volatile Phase Change Memory (PCM) Devices.

Keywords: Chalcogenides, vapor deposition, electrical switching, PCM.

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2 Ovshinsky Effect by Quantum Mechanics

Authors: Thomas V. Prevenslik

Abstract:

Ovshinsky initiated scientific research in the field of amorphous and disordered materials that continues to this day. The Ovshinsky Effect where the resistance of thin GST films is significantly reduced upon the application of low voltage is of fundamental importance in phase-change - random access memory (PC-RAM) devices.GST stands for GdSbTe chalcogenide type glasses.However, the Ovshinsky Effect is not without controversy. Ovshinsky thought the resistance of GST films is reduced by the redistribution of charge carriers; whereas, others at that time including many PC-RAM researchers today argue that the GST resistance changes because the GST amorphous state is transformed to the crystalline state by melting, the heat supplied by external heaters. In this controversy, quantum mechanics (QM) asserts the heat capacity of GST films vanishes, and therefore melting cannot occur as the heat supplied cannot be conserved by an increase in GST film temperature.By precluding melting, QM re-opens the controversy between the melting and charge carrier mechanisms. Supporting analysis is presented to show that instead of increasing GST film temperature, conservation proceeds by the QED induced creation of photons within the GST film, the QED photons confined by TIR. QED stands for quantum electrodynamics and TIR for total internal reflection. The TIR confinement of QED photons is enhanced by the fact the absorbedheat energy absorbed in the GST film is concentrated in the TIR mode because of their high surface to volume ratio. The QED photons having Planck energy beyond the ultraviolet produce excitons by the photoelectric effect, the electrons and holes of which reduce the GST film resistance.

Keywords: Ovshinsky, phase change memory, PC-RAM, chalcogenide, quantummechanics, quantum electrodynamics.

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1 Exploring the Potential of Phase Change Memories as an Alternative to DRAM Technology

Authors: Venkataraman Krishnaswami, Venkatasubramanian Viswanathan

Abstract:

Scalability poses a severe threat to the existing DRAM technology. The capacitors that are used for storing and sensing charge in DRAM are generally not scaled beyond 42nm. This is because; the capacitors must be sufficiently large for reliable sensing and charge storage mechanism. This leaves DRAM memory scaling in jeopardy, as charge sensing and storage mechanisms become extremely difficult. In this paper we provide an overview of the potential and the possibilities of using Phase Change Memory (PCM) as an alternative for the existing DRAM technology. The main challenges that we encounter in using PCM are, the limited endurance, high access latencies, and higher dynamic energy consumption than that of the conventional DRAM. We then provide an overview of various methods, which can be employed to overcome these drawbacks. Hybrid memories involving both PCM and DRAM can be used, to achieve good tradeoffs in access latency and storage density. We conclude by presenting, the results of these methods that makes PCM a potential replacement for the current DRAM technology.

Keywords: DRAM, Phase Change Memory.

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