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Proceedings Paper

Crystallization behavior of phase-change materials: comparison between nucleation- and growth-dominated crystallization
Author(s): Guofu Zhou; Herman J. Borg; J. C. N. Rijpers; Martijn H. R. Lankhorst; J. J. L. Horikx
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Paper Abstract

We have studied the crystallization behavior of stoichiometric GeSbTe versus (doped) eutectic SbTe materials. For pseudo-binary compositions on the GeTe-Sb2Te3 tie-line, the nucleation time and the complete erasure time (CET) of an amorphous mark are of the same order of magnitude, typically in the range 20 - 100 ns. For compositions close to the eutectic Sb69Te31 the nucleation time exceeds 100 microsecond(s) , 4 orders of magnitude longer than the CET. The nucleation probability of doped SbTe materials was determined experimentally and a low temperature maximum was observed, in line with classical nucleation theory. The large difference in the nucleation and growth rates of both material classes has important consequences for the erase mechanism of amorphous marks in practical phase change media: for stoichiometric GeSbTe materials mark erasure is nucleation-driven, whilst it is growth-driven for eutectic SbTe compositions. For growth- driven mark erasure, we observed a strong dependence of the CET on amorphous mark size. This dependence must be quantified, to be able to compare the crystallization speed of different growth-dominated materials. Therefore, we developed a method in which the size of a written amorphous mark was deduced from the measured modulation level.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 September 2000
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 4090, Optical Data Storage 2000, (18 September 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.399337
Show Author Affiliations
Guofu Zhou, Philips Research Labs. (Netherlands)
Herman J. Borg, Philips Research Labs. (Netherlands)
J. C. N. Rijpers, Philips Research Labs. (Netherlands)
Martijn H. R. Lankhorst, Philips Research Labs. (Netherlands)
J. J. L. Horikx, Philips Research Labs. (Netherlands)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4090:
Optical Data Storage 2000
Douglas G. Stinson; Ryuichi Katayama, Editor(s)

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