Phase transitions in germanium telluride nanoparticle phase-change materials studied by temperature-resolved x-ray diffraction
- Journal Article
Germanium telluride (GeTe), a phase-change material, is known to exhibit four different structural states: three at room-temperature (one amorphous and two crystalline, α and γ) and one at high temperature (crystalline, β). Because transitions between the amorphous and crystalline states lead to significant changes in material properties (e.g., refractive index and resistivity), GeTe has been investigated as a phase-change material for photonics, thermoelectrics, ferroelectrics, and spintronics. Consequently, the temperature-dependent phase transitions in GeTe have been studied for bulk and thin-film GeTe, both fabricated by sputtering. Colloidal synthesis of nanoparticles offers a more flexible fabrication approach for amorphous and crystalline GeTe. These nanoparticles are known to exhibit size-dependent properties, such as an increased crystallization temperature for the amorphous-to-α transition in sub-10 nm GeTe particles. The α-to-β phase transition is also expected to vary with size, but this effect has not yet been investigated for GeTe. Here, we report time-resolved x-ray diffraction of GeTe nanoparticles with different diameters and from different synthetic protocols. We observe a non-volatile amorphous-to-α transition between 210 ∘C and 240 ∘C and a volatile α-to-β transition between 370 ∘C and 420 ∘C. The latter transition was reversible and repeatable. While the transition temperatures are shifted relative to the values known for bulk GeTe, the nanoparticle-based samples still exhibit the same structural phases reported for sputtered GeTe. Thus, colloidal GeTe maintains the same general phase behavior as bulk GeTe while allowing for more flexible and accessible fabrication. Therefore, nanoparticle-based GeTe films show great potential for applications such as in active photonics. Show more
Journal / seriesJournal of Applied Physics
Pages / Article No.
PublisherAmerican Institute of Physics
Organisational unit03865 - Müller, Christoph R. / Müller, Christoph R.
339905 - Quantum-Dot Plasmonics and Spasers (EC)
161249 - Colloidal nanocrystals of intermetallic compounds and alloys for phase-change memory applications (SNF)
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