Ultrafast Nanoscale Phase-Change Memory Enabled By Single-Pulse Conditioning

We describe how the crystallization kinetics of a suite of phase-change systems can be controlled by using a single-shot treatment via “initial crystallization” effects. Ultrarapid and highly stable phase-change structures (with excellent characteristics), viz. conventional and sub-10 nm sized cells (400 ps switching and 368 K for 10 year data retention), stackable cells (900 ps switching and 1 × 106 cycles for similar “switching-on” voltages), and multilevel configurations (800 ps switching and resistance-drift power-law coefficients <0.11) have been demonstrated. Material measurements and thermal calculations also reveal the origin of the pretreatment-assisted increase in crystallization rates and the thermal diffusion in chalcogenide structures, respectively.