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Phase Transformation through Metastable Structures in Atomically Controlled Se/Sb MultiLayers

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journal contribution
posted on 14.07.2011, 00:00 by Ju Heyuck Baeck, Tae Hyeon Kim, Hye Jin Choi, Kwang Ho Jeong, Mann-Ho Cho
Multilayer films composed of individual layers of [Sb(8.84 Å)/Se(12.6 Å)](Sb4Se6), [Sb(8.84 Å)/Se(7.2 Å)](Sb4Se4), and [Sb(15.4 Å)/Se(7.2 Å)](Sb6Se4) were synthesized using effusion cells controlled at the subatomic scale. After an annealing process, the Sb4Se6 multilayered film with an Sb2Se3 orthorhombic structure had a high resistance and a clean valence band edge similar to that for a band shape of a semiconductor, whereas the Sb6Se4 film with an Sb rhombohedral structure and an Sb2Se3 orthorhombic structure had a low resistance and a band tail that originated from their metallic characteristics in the near Fermi level. In the case of Sb4Se4, a metastable Sb4Se4 monoclinic structure was induced at an annealing temperature of 200 °C because of the unstable, local, and anisotropic distribution of each element in the vertical direction of multilayer films with a specific stoichiometry. Moreover, the nonbonding states originating from a band-gap state were generated in the film with a metastable structure. When the annealing process was conducted at 256 °C, the linear diffusion of elements in the film induced the most stable crystal structure with a stable stoichiometry. That is, the multilayered Sb4Se4 film underwent a steplike resistance change through a two-level phase change process. The findings indicate that a multilayered system with an atomically controlled thickness can be utilized to control the electrical resistance, metastable phase formation, and the valence band structure in an Sb–Se alloy system.