A study of electromigration behaviors of Ge2Sb2Te5 chalcogenide nano-strips subjected to pulse bias

Yin Hsien Huang, Tsung-Eong Hsien

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Electromigration (EM) behaviors of pristine Ge2Sb2Te5 (GST) and cerium-doped GST (Ce-GST) nano-strips were investigated by the mean-time-to-failure (MTTF) tests under the pulse bias at the conditions of pulse frequency (f) ranging from 1 to 25 MHz and duty cycle ranging from 50% to 80%. Analytical results indicated that, at f greater than 10 MHz, the EM failure of GST nano-strips in pulse bias environment could be depicted by the 'average current model'. With the aid of Black's theory, the activation energies (E a) of EM process under pulse bias were found to be 0.63 and 0.56 eV for GST and Ce-GST nano-strips, respectively. The E a values were comparatively smaller than those observed in direct-current MTTF test of GST thin-film samples, implying the enhancement of surface diffusion and skin effect in GST nano-strips. The morphology and composition analyses indicated that the electrostatic and the electron-wind forces might simultaneously involve in the mass transport in GST nano-strips under the test conditions of this study. The composition analysis also revealed that doping could not effectively alleviate the element segregation in GST subjected to electrical bias.

Original languageEnglish
Article number275301
JournalJournal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Issue number27
StatePublished - 19 Jun 2017


  • average current model
  • chalcogenides
  • electromigration
  • phase-change memory
  • pulse bias

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