Energy-Efficient Phase-Change Memory with Graphene as a Thermal Barrier

Chiyui Ahn, Scott W. Fong, Yongsung Kim, Seunghyun Lee, Aditya Sood, Christopher M. Neumann, Mehdi Asheghi, Kenneth E. Goodson, Eric Pop, H. S.Philip Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

118 Scopus citations


Phase-change memory (PCM) is an important class of data storage, yet lowering the programming current of individual devices is known to be a significant challenge. Here we improve the energy-efficiency of PCM by placing a graphene layer at the interface between the phase-change material, Ge2Sb2Te5 (GST), and the bottom electrode (W) heater. Graphene-PCM (G-PCM) devices have ∼40% lower RESET current compared to control devices without the graphene. This is attributed to the graphene as an added interfacial thermal resistance which helps confine the generated heat inside the active PCM volume. The G-PCM achieves programming up to 105 cycles, and the graphene could further enhance the PCM endurance by limiting atomic migration or material segregation at the bottom electrode interface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6809-6814
Number of pages6
JournalNano Letters
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 14 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Bioengineering
  • General Materials Science


  • Graphene
  • Joule heating
  • phase-change memory
  • reset current
  • thermal boundary resistance


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