Through the use of first-principles Ge K-edge XANES simulations we demonstrate that the structure of melt-quenched amorphous Ge-Sb-Te is intrinsically complex and is a mixture of Ge(3):Te(3) and Ge(4):Te(2) configurations in comparable concentrations, in contrast to the as-deposited amorphous phase that is dominated by the Ge(4):Te(2) configurations. The reasons for Ge-Te polyvalency are discussed and it is argued that both configurations are compatible with the Mott 8-N rule and the definition of an ideal amorphous solid. The near-perfect Te-Te distance match between the two major configurations accounts for the high cyclability of phase-change materials. Stable compositions in the Ge-Sb-Te system are suggested.
|Journal||Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics|
|Publication status||Published - 2011 Feb 11|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics