Scientific reports

Enhanced Crystallization Behaviors of Silicon-Doped Sb2Te Films: Optical Evidences.

PMID 27640336


The optical properties and structural variations of silicon (Si) doped Sb2Te (SST) films as functions of temperature (210-620 K) and Si concentration (0-33%) have been investigated by the means of temperature dependent Raman scattering and spectroscopic ellipsometry experiments. Based upon the changes in Raman phonon modes and dielectric functions, it can be concluded that the temperature ranges for intermediates and transition states are estimated to 150, 120, 90, and 0 K, corresponding to ST, SST25%, SST28%, and SST33% films, respectively. The phenomenon also can be summarized by the thermal evolutions of interband electronic transition energies (En) and partial spectral weight integral (I). The disappearance of intermediate (INT) state for SST33% film between amorphous (AM) and hexagonal (HEX) phases can be attributed to the acceleratory crystallization of HEX phase by Si introduction. It illustrates that the risk of phase separation (Sb and Te) during the cyclic phase-change processes decreases with the increasing Si concentration. The enhanced crystallization behaviors can optimize the data retention ability and the long term stability of ST by Si doping, which are important indicators for phase change materials. The performance improvement has been analyzed qualitatively from the optical perspective.