The large resistance contrast between amorphous and crystalline states of phase change materials (PCM) makes them a promising candidate for data-storage applications. Germanium telluride (GeTe), an early member of the PCM family, shows ~6 orders of magnitude difference in resistivity upon phase transition. In this paper, two different heating methods, direct (Joule) and indirect thermal heating, were applied to induce a phase transition in vertical and horizontal GeTe resistors. In the electrical measurements, it was observed that thermal heating produces a two orders of magnitude larger difference in GeTe resistivity that the Joule heating, irrespective of the resistor’s geometry and orientation. It was also found that the large inter-electrode distances in horizontal resistors make them impractical for low voltage applications. In addition, a correlation in between crystallization voltage and resistor’s geometrical parameters (i.e., inter-electrode distance and cross-sectional area) was also established. Here, it was found that the threshold voltage increases with resistor length, while it remains unaffected with a change in cross-sectional area. This work provides design guidelines to make use of not only GeTe but also other phase change materials in reconfigurable circuit applications.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.