Journal Article Coherent gigahertz phonons in Ge2Sb2Te5 phase-change materials

Hase, Muneaki  ,  Fons, Paul  ,  Kolobov, Alexander V  ,  Tominaga, Junji

27 ( 48 )  , p.485402 , 2015-12 , IOP Publishing
Using $\approx $ 40 fs ultrashort laser pulses, we investigate the picosecond acoustic response from a prototypical phase change material, thin Ge2Sb2Te5 (GST) films with various thicknesses. After excitation with a 1.53 eV-energy pulse with a fluence of $\approx $ 5 mJ cm−2, the time-resolved reflectivity change exhibits transient electronic response, followed by a combination of exponential-like strain and coherent acoustic phonons in the gigahertz (GHz) frequency range. The time-domain shape of the coherent acoustic pulse is well reproduced by the use of the strain model by Thomsen et al 1986 (Phys. Rev. B 34 4129). We found that the decay rate (the inverse of the relaxation time) of the acoustic phonon both in the amorphous and in the crystalline phases decreases as the film thickness increases. The thickness dependence of the acoustic phonon decay is well modeled based on both phonon-defect scattering and acoustic phonon attenuation at the GST/Si interface, and it is revealed that those scattering and attenuation are larger in crystalline GST films than those in amorphous GST films.

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