Zhou and his colleagues turned to a material with just two elements: aluminum and antimony. They studied the material's phase-changing properties, finding that it's more thermally stable than the Ge-Sb-Te compound. The researchers discovered that Al 50Sb 50, in particular, has three distinct levels of resistance -- and thus the ability to store three bits of data in a single memory cell, instead of just two. This suggests that this material can be used for multilevel data storage.
"A two-step resistance drop during the crystallization of the material can be used for multilevel data storage (MLS) and, interestingly, three distinct resistance levels are achieved in the phase-change memory cells," Zhou says. "So the aluminum-antimony material looks promising for use in high-density nonvolatile memory applications because of its good thermal stability and MLS capacity."
The researchers are now investigating the endurance or reversible electrical switching of the phase-change memory cell with MLS capacity.
The paper, "Phase-transition characteristics of Al-Sb phase change materials for phase change memory application," by Xilin Zhou, Liangcai Wu, Zhitang Song, Feng Rao, Kun Ren, Cheng Peng, Sannian Song, Bo Liu, Ling Xu, and Songlin Feng appears in the journal Applied Physics Letters. See: http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4818662The authors are affiliated with the Shanghai Institute of Microsystem and Information Technology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the National Laboratory of Solid State Nanostructures at Nanjing University. ABOUT THE JOURNAL Applied Physics Letters features concise, rapid reports on significant new findings in applied physics. The journal covers new experimental and theoretical research on applications of physics phenomena related to all branches of science, engineering, and modern technology. See: http://apl.aip.org For more Information:Jason Socrates Bardi+1 240-535-4954 firstname.lastname@example.org SOURCE AIP Publishing