A model for an amorphous semiconductor memory device

M. H. Cohen, R. G. Neale, A. Paskin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


The amorphous semiconductor Ge15Te81X4 may be switched from a high resistance (amorphous) state to a low resistance (crystalline) state and back again. The two different resistive states are stable and can serve as the basis of a memory device. Recent measurements using techniques such as scanning electron micrographs, electromigration, electrical noise, lifetime studies, and metallurgical characteristics have yielded a body of data and ideas from which a model has been synthesized. The essential features of the model incorporate the mechanisms of filament formation and the subsequent resetting of the material into the amorphous state plus residual conducting debris. The conducting debris can serve as the nucleus of subsequent filament formation. The statistical variation in recycling, combined with percolation concepts, will be shown to account for most of the experimental data relating to operation and device lifetime.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)885-891
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Non-Crystalline Solids
Issue numberC
StatePublished - Jun 1972
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Materials Chemistry


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