Large optical transitions in rewritable digital versatile discs: An interlayer atomic zipper in a SbTe alloy

Junji Tominaga, Paul Fons, Takayuki Shima, Masashi Kuwahara, Osamu Suzuki, Alexander Kolobov

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Chalcogenides, in particular germanium-antimony-tellurium (GeSbTe) and antimony-rich tellurium (RSbTe) based alloys, are the most technologically significant alloys currently being applied to recordable optical storage as typified by rewritable digital versatile discs (DVD-RW), DVD random access memory, (DVD-RAM). The same alloys are also being applied to nonvolatile random access memory electrical memory in the form of phase change random access memory (PCRAM). In 2004, the phase transition mechanism of GeSbTe was first revealed, demonstrating that the amorphous state is not a random configurational network but is locally well-ordered with the crystalline to amorphous switching process being based upon Ge atoms moving between octahedral and tetrahedral symmetry positions. The kinetic barrier between these two states gives rise to the non-volatile nature of GeSbTe as a storage medium. In contrast, no theoretical analysis has been proposed for SbTe alloys because a Ge-free system. In this paper, the Sb2Te structure has been investigated using the local density approximation (LDA) using a plane-wave basis and compared with experimental results. The effect of external stress on the structure was also investigated. It was found that Sb2Te undergoes two phase-transitions at around 18 GPa (compressive) and -3 GPa (tensile). In the case of negative stress, the c-axis was found to expanded more than the other axes, giving rise a large refractive index change. We report on coherent (uniaxial) melting induced by the breaking a sigma bond between Sb2Te3 and Sb superlattices. We believe this to be the origin of the phase transition that induces a large change in physical properties.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPhase-Change Materials for Reconfigurable Electronics and Memory Applications
PublisherMaterials Research Society
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9781605608518
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes
Event2008 MRS Spring Meeting - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: 2008 Mar 242008 Mar 28

Publication series

NameMaterials Research Society Symposium Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0272-9172


Conference2008 MRS Spring Meeting
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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