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See detailMaxwell rigidity and topological constraints in amorphous phase-change networks
Micoulaut, M.; Otjacques, C.; Raty, Jean-Yves ULg et al

in AIP Conference Proceedings (2011), 1393

By analyzing first-principles molecular-dynamics simulations of different telluride amorphous networks, we develop a method for the enumeration of radial and angular topological constraints, and show that ... [more ▼]

By analyzing first-principles molecular-dynamics simulations of different telluride amorphous networks, we develop a method for the enumeration of radial and angular topological constraints, and show that the phase diagram of the most popular system Ge-Sb-Te can be split into two compositional elastic phases: a tellurium rich flexible phase and a stressed rigid phase that contains most of the materials used in phase-change applications. This sound atomic scale insight should open new avenues for the understanding of phase-change materials and other complex amorphous materials from the viewpoint of rigidity. [less ▲]

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See detailUnderstanding amorphous phase-change materials from the viewpoint of Maxwell rigidity
Micoulaut, M.; Raty, Jean-Yves ULg; Otjacques, C. et al

in Physical Review. B, Condensed Matter and Materials Physics (2010), 81(17), 17420610-1742061017420610

Phase-change materials (PCMs) are the subject of considerable interest because they have been recognized as potential active layers for nonvolatile memory devices, known as phase-change random access ... [more ▼]

Phase-change materials (PCMs) are the subject of considerable interest because they have been recognized as potential active layers for nonvolatile memory devices, known as phase-change random access memories. By analyzing first-principles molecular-dynamics simulations we develop a method for the enumeration of mechanical constraints in the amorphous phase and show that the phase diagram of the most popular system (Ge-Sb-Te) can be split into two compositional regions having a well-defined mechanical character: a tellurium rich flexible phase and a stressed rigid phase that encompasses the known PCMs. This sound atomic scale insight should open new avenues for the understanding of PCMs and other complex amorphous materials from the viewpoint of rigidity. [less ▲]

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See detailAmorphous structure and electronic properties of the Ge1Sb2Te4 phase change material
Raty, Jean-Yves ULg; Otjacques, C.; Gaspard, Jean-Pierre ULg et al

in Solid State Sciences (2010), 12(2), 193-198198

Ge1Sb2Te4 is one of the most commonly used phase change materials, due to the large optical and electrical contrast between a metastable crystalline phase and the amorphous phase. We use ab initio ... [more ▼]

Ge1Sb2Te4 is one of the most commonly used phase change materials, due to the large optical and electrical contrast between a metastable crystalline phase and the amorphous phase. We use ab initio molecular dynamics to generate an amorphous Ge1Sb2Te4 structure. By analysing the distance distributions, we show that the structure can be analysed in terms of 21% of tetrahedrally coordinated Ge atoms and 79% of 3-fold Ge atoms. These are involved in distorted octahedral shells with bond length correlations that are similar to the a-GeTe structure as a consequence of a Peierls-distortion. The electronic properties are shown to be in reasonable agreement with the experiment with an electronic gap of 0.45 eV with. The optical conductivity curve is also in agreement with the experiment, with a maximal conductivity at an energy of ~3 eV. [All rights reserved Elsevier]. [less ▲]

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See detailStructural and vibrational study of the negative thermal expansion in liquid As2Te3
Otjacques, C.; Raty, Jean-Yves ULg; Hippert, F. et al

in Physical Review. B, Condensed Matter and Materials Physics (2010), 82(5), 0542029-05420290542029

We present an experimental and theoretical study of liquid As 2Te 3. This alloy exhibits a negative thermal expansion (NTE) in a 250 K range above the melting temperature T m = 654 K. We evidence the ... [more ▼]

We present an experimental and theoretical study of liquid As 2Te 3. This alloy exhibits a negative thermal expansion (NTE) in a 250 K range above the melting temperature T m = 654 K. We evidence the changes in As 2Te 3 structure by measuring neutron-diffraction spectra at five temperatures in the NTE range and perform first principles molecular dynamics simulations at the same temperatures and densities to study the local order evolution in the liquid. Our calculated structures show an increase in the coordination numbers and a symmetrization of the first neighbors shell around atoms when the temperature rises. To confirm these results, we performed inelastic neutron scattering to obtain the vibrational density of state (VDOS) along the NTE. We see a clear change in the VDOS, consisting in a redshift of the highest frequencies with temperature. Finally, electrical conductivity evolution was obtained from the simulated structures, to compare with the semiconductor to metal transition measured experimentally. [less ▲]

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See detailDynamics of the negative thermal expansion in tellurium based liquid alloys
Otjacques, C.; Raty, Jean-Yves ULg; Coulet, M-V et al

in Physical Review Letters (2009), 103(24), 2459014-24590142459014

Negative thermal expansion (NTE) in tellurium based liquid alloys (GeTe 6 and GeTe 12) is analyzed through the atomic vibrational properties. Using neutron inelastic scattering, we show that the ... [more ▼]

Negative thermal expansion (NTE) in tellurium based liquid alloys (GeTe 6 and GeTe 12) is analyzed through the atomic vibrational properties. Using neutron inelastic scattering, we show that the structural evolution resulting in the NTE is due to a gain of vibrational entropy that cancels out the Peierls distortion. In the NTE temperature range, these competing effects give rise to noticeable changes in the vibrational density of states spectra. Additional first principles molecular dynamics simulations emphasize the role of the temperature dependance of the Ge atomic environment in this mechanism. For comparison, we extended our study to Ge 2Sb 2Te 5 and Ge 1Sb 2Te 4 phase-change materials. [less ▲]

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