Bonding origin of optical contrast in phase-change memory materials

Bolong Huang, J. Robertson

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

181 Citations (Scopus)


The large optical contrast between crystalline and amorphous phases of phase change memory materials is shown to arise from a large difference in the optical matrix elements. These are enhanced in the crystal by aligned rows of resonantly bonded p orbitals. Amorphous phases have normal-sized matrix elements due to an absence of this order, irrespective of coordination number. This is a more general description of local order differences between the crystalline and amorphous phases, which applies even when coordinations in the amorphous phases exceed the 8-N value.
Original languageEnglish
Article number081204
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 18 Feb 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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