The chalcogenide materials are phase change materials, with possibility of switching from an amorphous state to a crystalline state, and this in a reversible way, making them materials of choice for data storage (DVD,…).
This research domain now focuses an increasing interest with many papers published in most renowned journals such as Nature Materials, Physical Review Letters, Applied Physics Letters… Many "tracks" are being proposed to explain the fast and stable switching between crystalline and amorphous phases of phase change materials. Manyf compositions and many characterizations are needed to discreminate between them. Here is the investigation where our team has its whole place. We propose to prepare many compositions of ternary chalcogenides thanks to the co-evaporation equipment and to study the composition influence on various characteristics. While some of these characteristics can be studied by our group (structural and electrical characterizations for example), some others need to be investigated in collaboration with physicists.
In the course of the last years, we created a link with the group working in Aachen (Germany), supervised by M. Wuttig and where Andrea Piarristeguy was a post-doc for 8 months. In the future we plan to develop a strong collaboration with this team which has all the equipment to study of phase change materials. Proposals (ANR, German DFG) were deposited to support this work.
Note that ageing of phase change materials is a problem,as it is for the optical components (see the section Chalcogenides and Infrared Integrated Optics). Since the materials used in both cases derived from the Te-Ge system Te-Ge, the related investigation will be common to both projects.