Phase change memory (PCM) that is operated on resistance changes caused by joule heating has been suggested as the next-generation memory for scaling since its programming current scales linearly. We propose a U-shaped cell design to further reduce the reset current in PCM devices, which enables easier and more efficient scaling than conventional PCMs. Simulation studies of heat transfer demonstrated that our U-shaped design with a dashed heater has a higher thermal efficiency of 4.97 K/μA compared to 3.36 K/μA in a lance cell with a ring heater for the same storage node. The reset current can be better scaled proportionate to k2.0 in which the exponent is higher than the lance cell of k1.5 in non-isotropic scaling. This better scalability is attributed to the small programming volume of the U-shaped cell, which was verified by transmission electron microscopy analysis. Furthermore, the cyclic endurance of the U-shaped cell was enhanced by 1 order of magnitude compared to a lance cell and the thinner CGeSbTe films reduced the reset current further. Our results show that a U-shaped cell is a highly promising design to scale reset current in next-generation PCM devices.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Surfaces and Interfaces
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Metals and Alloys
- Materials Chemistry