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A long-standing question for avant-garde data storage technology concerns the nature of the ultrafast photoinduced phase transformations in the wide class of chalcogenide phase-change materials (PCMs). Overall, a comprehensive understanding of the microstructural evolution and the relevant kinetics mechanisms accompanying the out-of-equilibrium phases is still missing. Here, after overheating a phase-change chalcogenide superlattice by an ultrafast laser pulse, we indirectly track the lattice relaxation by time resolved x-ray absorption spectroscopy (tr-XAS) with a sub-ns time resolution. The approach to the tr-XAS experimental results reported in this work provides an atomistic insight of the mechanism that takes place during the cooling process; meanwhile a first-principles model mimicking the microscopic distortions accounts for a straightforward representation of the observed dynamics. Finally, we …
American Physical Society
Publication date: 
29 Sep 2016

Marco Malvestuto, Antonio Caretta, Barbara Casarin, Federico Cilento, Martina Dell'Angela, Daniele Fausti, Raffaella Calarco, Bart J Kooi, Enrico Varesi, John Robertson, Fulvio Parmigiani

Biblio References: 
Volume: 94 Issue: 9 Pages: 094310
Physical Review B