A long-standing question for avant-garde data storage technology concerns the nature of the ultrafast photoinduced phase transformations in the wide class of chalcogenide phase-change materials (PCMs). Overall, a comprehensive understanding of the microstructural evolution and the relevant kinetics mechanisms accompanying the out-of-equilibrium phases is still missing. Here, after overheating a phase-change chalcogenide superlattice by an ultrafast laser pulse, we indirectly track the lattice relaxation by time resolved x-ray absorption spectroscopy (tr-XAS) with a sub-ns time resolution. The approach to the tr-XAS experimental results reported in this work provides an atomistic insight of the mechanism that takes place during the cooling process; meanwhile a first-principles model mimicking the microscopic distortions accounts for a straightforward representation of the observed dynamics. Finally, we envisage that our approach can be applied in future studies addressing the role of dynamical structural strain in PCMs.

Ultrafast Ge-Te bond dynamics in a phase-change superlattice

MALVESTUTO, MARCO;CARETTA, ANTONIO;CASARIN, BARBARA;CILENTO, FEDERICO;DELL'ANGELA, MARTINA;FAUSTI, DANIELE;PARMIGIANI, FULVIO
2016

Abstract

A long-standing question for avant-garde data storage technology concerns the nature of the ultrafast photoinduced phase transformations in the wide class of chalcogenide phase-change materials (PCMs). Overall, a comprehensive understanding of the microstructural evolution and the relevant kinetics mechanisms accompanying the out-of-equilibrium phases is still missing. Here, after overheating a phase-change chalcogenide superlattice by an ultrafast laser pulse, we indirectly track the lattice relaxation by time resolved x-ray absorption spectroscopy (tr-XAS) with a sub-ns time resolution. The approach to the tr-XAS experimental results reported in this work provides an atomistic insight of the mechanism that takes place during the cooling process; meanwhile a first-principles model mimicking the microscopic distortions accounts for a straightforward representation of the observed dynamics. Finally, we envisage that our approach can be applied in future studies addressing the role of dynamical structural strain in PCMs.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11368/2886305
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