We have observed an irreversible ultrafast crystalline-to-amorphous phase transition in Ge2Sb2Te5 chalcogenide alloy thin film using broadband single-shot imaging spectroscopy. The absorbance change that accompanied the ultrafast amorphization was measured via single-shot detection even for laser fluences above the critical value, where a permanent amorphized mark was formed. The observed rise time to reach the amorphization was found to be ∼130-200 fs, which was in good agreement with the half period of the A1 phonon frequency in the octahedral GeTe6 structure. This result strongly suggests that the ultrafast amorphization can be attributed to the rearrangement of Ge atoms from an octahedral structure to a tetrahedral structure. Finally, based on the dependence of the absorbance change on the laser fluence, the stability of the photoinduced amorphous phase is discussed.
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