Review abstract


Nature Materials 6, 824 - 832 (2007)
doi:10.1038/nmat2009

There is an Erratum (November 2007) associated with this Review.

Subject Categories: Electronic materials | Semiconductors | Optical, photonic and optoelectronic materials

Phase-change materials for rewriteable data storage

Matthias Wuttig1 & Noboru Yamada2


Phase-change materials are some of the most promising materials for data-storage applications. They are already used in rewriteable optical data storage and offer great potential as an emerging non-volatile electronic memory. This review looks at the unique property combination that characterizes phase-change materials. The crystalline state often shows an octahedral-like atomic arrangement, frequently accompanied by pronounced lattice distortions and huge vacancy concentrations. This can be attributed to the chemical bonding in phase-change alloys, which is promoted by p-orbitals. From this insight, phase-change alloys with desired properties can be designed. This is demonstrated for the optical properties of phase-change alloys, in particular the contrast between the amorphous and crystalline states. The origin of the fast crystallization kinetics is also discussed.

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  1. Physikalisches Institut, RWTH Aachen University, 52056 Aachen, Germany
  2. AV Core Technology Development Center, Matsushita Electric Industrial Company, 3-1-1 Yagumo-Naka-machi, Moriguchi, Osaka 570-8501, Japan

Correspondence to: Matthias Wuttig1 e-mail: wuttig@physik.rwth-aachen.de




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