Pulsed laser deposited stoichiometric GaSb films for optoelectronic and phase change memory applications

Daniel Yimam*, Heng Zhang, Jamo Momand, Bart Kooi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
45 Downloads (Pure)


Phase-change memory (PCM) holds great potential in realizing the combination of DRAM-like speeds with non-volatility and large storage capacity for future electronic devices including in-memory computing. However, various (reliability) issues related to e.g. too high programming current (power consumption), resistance drift, data retention (low crystallization temperature), phase separation and density change upon switching stand in the way to make PCM really attractive. GaSb thin films have interesting optical and electrical properties which are attractive for optoelectronic and PCM applications but so far reported stoichiometric GaSb compositions are Sb-rich which produced reliability issues in PCM devices. In this study, we managed to deposit stoichiometric GaSb thin films using pulsed laser deposition (PLD) by varying deposition parameters and conditions. Using electron microscopy, the morphology of deposited films and target surface and the compositional deviation from exact stoichiometry have been investigated. We show that the directional nature of laser-target interaction is directly responsible for film quality in PLD in which particulates with high number density are generated due to directional pillar formation. Suppressing this pillar formation, by a simple 180° target rotation, showed an increase in deposition yield by 60%, exact stoichiometric transfer from target to substrate, and large reduction in particulate density. Moreover, from XRD analysis, we show that exact stoichiometric transfer from target to substrate is crucial for structural integrity of the produced films. Temperature induced structural transformation from resistivity vs. temperature measurements show a high crystallization temperature of 250 °C for stoichiometric GaSb thin film. We believe the exact stoichiometric GaSb thin films with reduced particulate densities and favorable structural and (opto)electronic properties are attractive for future PCM devices.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalMaterials science in semiconductor processing
Issue number105965
Publication statusPublished - 20-May-2021


  • Phase change materials
  • Pulsed laser deposition
  • GaSb thin Films
  • Target rotation

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