Phase-change memory utilizing amorphous-to-crystalline phase-change processes for reset-to-set operation as a nonvolatile memory has been recently commercialized as a storage class memory. Unfortunately, designing new phase-change materials (PCMs) with low phase-change energy and sufficient thermal stability is difficult because phase-change energy and thermal stability decrease simultaneously as the amorphous phase destabilizes. This issue arising from the trade-off relationship between stability and energy consumption can be solved by reducing the entropic loss of phase-change energy as apparent in crystalline-to-crystalline phase-change process of a GeTe/Sb2Te3 superlattice structure. A paradigm shift in atomic crystallography has been recently produced using a quasi-crystal, which is a new type of atomic ordering symmetry without any linear translational symmetry. This paper introduces a novel class of PCMs based on a quasicrystalline-to-approximant crystalline phase-change process, whose phase-change energy and thermal stability are simultaneously enhanced compared to those of the GeTe/Sb2Te3 superlattice structure. This report includes a new concept that reduces entropic loss using a quasicrystalline state and takes the first step in the development of new PCMs with significantly low phase-change energy and considerably high thermal stability.
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