We measure heterogeneous power dissipation in phase change memory (PCM) films of 11 and 22nm thin Ge2Sb2Te5 (GST) by scanning Joule expansion microscopy (SJEM), with sub-50nm spatial and ∼0.2K temperature resolution. The heterogeneous Joule and Peltier effects are explained using a finite element analysis (FEA) model with a mixture of hexagonal close-packed and face-centered cubic GST phases. Transfer length method measurements and effective media theory calculations yield the GST resistivity, GST-TiW contact resistivity, and crystal fraction of the GST films at different annealing temperatures. Further comparison of SJEM measurements and FEA modeling also predicts the thermopower of thin GST films. These measurements of nanometer-scale Joule, thermoelectric, and interface effects in PCM films could lead to energy-efficient designs of highly scaled PCM technology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number124508
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Sep 28 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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