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.
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Tomer, Dushyant and Coutu, Ronald A. Jr., "A Phase Change Material for Reconfigurable Circuit Applications" (2018). Electrical and Computer Engineering Faculty Research and Publications. 302.