The design of re-writeable ultra-high density scanning-probe phase-change memories

Wright, C. David and Wang, L. and Shah, Purav and Aziz, Mustafa M. and Varesi, E. and Bez, R. and Moroni, M. and Cazzaniga, F. (2010) The design of re-writeable ultra-high density scanning-probe phase-change memories. Nanotechnology, IEEE Transactions on . ISSN 1536-125X

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Abstract

A systematic design of practicable media suitable for re-writeable, ultra-high density (> 1Tbit/sq.in.), high data rate (> 1Mbit/s/tip) scanning probe phase-change memories is presented. The basic design requirements were met by a Si/TiN/GST/DLC structure, with properly tailored electrical and thermal conductivities. Various alternatives for providing re-writeability were investigated. In the first case amorphous marks were written into a crystalline starting phase and subsequently erased by re-crystallization, as in other already-established phase-change memory technologies. Results imply that this approach is also appropriate for probe-based memories. However, experimentally the successful writing of amorphous bits using scanning electrical probes has not been widely reported. In light of this a second approach has been studied, that of writing crystalline bits in an amorphous starting matrix, with subsequent erasure by re-amorphization. With conventional phase-change materials, such as continuous films of Ge_{2}Sb_{2}Te_{5}, this approach invariably leads to the formation of a crystalline “halo” surrounding the erased (re-amorphized) region, with severe adverse consequences on the achievable density. Suppression of the “halo” was achieved using patterned media or slow-growth phase-change media, with the latter seemingly more viable.

Item Type:Article
Keywords (uncontrolled):Conductivity, GeSbTe, Media, Probes, Thermal conductivity, TiN, Writing, phase-change RAM, phase-change materials, phase-change memories, scanning probe memories
Research Areas:Science & Technology > Science & Technology
ID Code:7538
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Deposited On:12 Apr 2011 10:59
Last Modified:09 Oct 2013 10:21

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