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Electrical switching dynamics in phase-change random access memory

Joint PhD student: Jasper Oosthoek
In this project the emphasis is on the reversible amorphous-crystalline phase transformation in so-called Phase-change Random Access Memories (PRAMs), that have potential for future universal memory, is proposed. The basis for the PRAM is a large differencein electrical resistivity between the amorphous and crystalline phase that enables two or multi-level memory states. Using electrical (Joule) heating, nano-second switching between the states is possible. Phase-change materials have become well known from their application in rewritable CD and DVD formats, where carried out in close collaboration with NXP and Philips in Eindhoven. Fundamental problems remain that hamper a technological breakthrough of the concepts of PRAM in general. We address the various questions by analyzing PRAM cells after different switching conditions and as a function of the number of switching cycles using TEM (joint efforts with dr. B.J. Kooi).