Activation energy is one of the basic parameters used to estimate the physical and chemical features of optical and electrical phase-change (PC) films. However, its origin has not been discussed well because of insufficient understanding of the amorphous structures. In this paper, we reveal the origin of the activation energy using a GeSbTe-superlattice model and ab-initio local density approximation (LDA) calculations. The simulated energy required for transition from amorphous to crystal formation in a 9-atomic system was 2.34 eV; This is in good agreement with experimentally reported values.
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