Abstract

We present the results of crystallization and amorphization studies on a thin-film sample of Ge2Sb2.3Te5, encapsulated in a quadrilayer stack as in the media of phase-change optical disk data storage. The study was conducted on a two-laser static tester in which one laser, operating in pulsed mode, writes either amorphous marks on a crystalline film or crystalline marks on an amorphous film. The second laser, operating at low power in the cw mode, simultaneously monitors the progress of mark formation in terms of the variations of reflectivity both during the write pulse and in the subsequent cooling period. In addition to investigating some of the expected features associated with crystallization and amorphization, we noted certain curious phenomena during the mark-formation process. For example, at low-power pulsed illumination, which is insufficient to trigger the phase transition, there is a slight change in the reflectivity of the sample. This is believed to be caused by a reversible change in the complex refractive index of the Ge2Sb2.3Te5 film in the course of heating above the ambient temperature. We also observed that the mark-formation process may continue for as long as 1 µs beyond the end of the write laser pulse. This effect is especially pronounced during amorphous mark formation under high-power, long-pulse illumination.

© 2000 Optical Society of America

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