Phase-change mechanism and role of each element in Ag-In-Sb-Te: Chemical bond evolution

Dasol Kim, Taek Sun Jung, Hanjin Park, Wonjun Yang, Jeonghwa Han, Soobin Hwang, Kyung Ik Sim, Young Kyun Kwon, Jae Hoon Kim, Mann Ho Cho

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7 Citations (Scopus)


Reversible phase-change is one of the most promising bases to store data for universal electronic memory. Rapid and energy efficient crystallization of Ag-In-Sb-Te, owing to miniscule atomic displacements, has dragged large interest. However, crystallization mechanism at atomic scale and role of element in Ag-In-Sb-Te remain inconclusive. We studied evolution of chemical bonding on crystallization of Ag-In-Sb-Te, i.e., chemical bonding of element In dramatically changes on crystallization from Sb-bonds (In-Sb) to Te-bonds (In-Te). The local environments of In corresponding to In-Sb and In-Te bonds are characterized as InSb-like and AgInTe2-like site, respectively. Further, In largely modulates the degree of atomic ordering and activation energy for crystallization despite of low composition. The overall results suggest that crystallization of Ag-In-Sb-Te is deployed by the transition of local environment of In from InSb-like to AgInTe2-like site. It suggests role of Ag, In, and Te on crystallization, i.e., Ag provides structural flexibility for transition in local environment of In, In disrupts crystallization, and Te assists the other elements to play their respective roles. The present work on the unique crystallization mechanism of Ag-In-Sb-Te successfully accounts for the memory properties depending on composition and can be applied to development of future memory device.

Original languageEnglish
Article number148838
JournalApplied Surface Science
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Apr 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy (MOTIE) in Korea (Project No. 10080625) and the Korea Semiconductor Research Consortium (KSRC) through a project for developing source technologies for future semiconductor devices and the Nano Material Technology Development Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning (NRF-2016M3A7B4910398).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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