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Materials 2017, 10(8), 862; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma10080862

A Review on Disorder-Driven Metal–Insulator Transition in Crystalline Vacancy-Rich GeSbTe Phase-Change Materials

1
Center for Advancing Materials Performance from the Nanoscale, State Key Laboratory for Mechanical Behavior of Materials, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an 710049, China
2
Institute for Theoretical Solid-State Physics, JARA-FIT and JARA-HPC, RWTH Aachen University, 52074 Aachen, Germany
3
Institute of Physics IA, JARA-FIT and JARA-HPC, RWTH Aachen University, 52074 Aachen, Germany
These authors contribute equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 June 2017 / Revised: 23 July 2017 / Accepted: 25 July 2017 / Published: 27 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metal-Insulator Transition)
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Abstract

Metal–insulator transition (MIT) is one of the most essential topics in condensed matter physics and materials science. The accompanied drastic change in electrical resistance can be exploited in electronic devices, such as data storage and memory technology. It is generally accepted that the underlying mechanism of most MITs is an interplay of electron correlation effects (Mott type) and disorder effects (Anderson type), and to disentangle the two effects is difficult. Recent progress on the crystalline Ge1Sb2Te4 (GST) compound provides compelling evidence for a disorder-driven MIT. In this work, we discuss the presence of strong disorder in GST, and elucidate its effects on electron localization and transport properties. We also show how the degree of disorder in GST can be reduced via thermal annealing, triggering a disorder-driven metal–insulator transition. The resistance switching by disorder tuning in crystalline GST may enable novel multilevel data storage devices. View Full-Text
Keywords: metal–insulator transition; disorder; Anderson insulator; electron localization; phase-change materials metal–insulator transition; disorder; Anderson insulator; electron localization; phase-change materials
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Wang, J.-J.; Xu, Y.-Z.; Mazzarello, R.; Wuttig, M.; Zhang, W. A Review on Disorder-Driven Metal–Insulator Transition in Crystalline Vacancy-Rich GeSbTe Phase-Change Materials. Materials 2017, 10, 862.

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