ABSTRACT: The influence of Si and N in Ge2Sb2Te5 (space group ) on structure and phase stability thereof was studied experimentally by thin film growth and characterization as well as theoretically by ab initio calculations. It was found that Si and N most probably accumulate in the amorphous matrix embedding Ge2Sb2Te5 grains. The incorporation of Si and N in these samples causes an increase of the crystallization temperature and the formation of finer grains. N is more efficient in increasing the crystallization temperature and in reducing the grain size than Si which can be understood based on the bonding analysis. The incorporation of both Si and N in Ge2Sb2Te5 is energetically unfavourable, leading to finer grains and larger crystallization temperatures. While in the case of Si additions no significant changes in bonding are observed, N additions appear to enable the formation of strong Te–N bonds in the amorphous matrix, which are shown to be almost twice as strong as the strongest bonds in unalloyed Ge2Sb2Te5.
Journal of Physics Condensed Matter 10/2009; 21(43):435501. · 2.55 Impact Factor