Electrical Switching and Other Properties of Chalcogenide Glasses

S Asokan, K P Lakshmi


Electrical switching which has applications in areas such as information storage, power control, etc is a scientifically interesting and technologically important phenomenon exhibited by glassy chalcogenide semiconductors. The phase change memories based on electrical switching appear to be the most promising next generation non-volatile memories, due to many attributes which include high endurance in write/read operations, shorter write/read time, high scalability, multi-bit capability, lower cost and a  compatibility with complementary metal oxide semiconductor technology.

Studies on the electrical switching behavior of chalcogenide glasses help us in identifying newer glasses which could be used for phase change memory applications. In particular, studies on the composition dependence of electrical switching parameters and investigations on the correlation between switching behavior with other material properties are necessary for the selection of proper compositions which make good memory materials. In this review, an attempt has been made to summarize the dependence of the electrical switching  behavior of chalcogenide glasses with other material properties such as network topological effects, glass transition & crystallization temperature, activation energy for crystallization, thermal diffusivity, electrical resistivity and others.

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