Self-Healing of a Confined Phase Change Memory Device : One Step Closer to Storage Class Memory
#Phasechangememory ( #PCM ) devices, i.e. non-volatile, fast switching, long retention time devices, are nowadays envisaged as a revolutionary alternative to conventional computer random-access memory (RAM), expected to meet the growing memory demands of ever-increasing computing power and data-intensive applications. Despite the rapid growth of the field that has allowed the fabrication of confined PCM devices demonstrating more than two orders of magnitude improvement compared to the conventional mushroom cell, the physics that govern the system’s endurance, remain elusive. Fundamental questions related to the observation of the phase change during operation are yet to be addressed, inhibiting therefore our ability to further improve the performance of these systems. Aiming to shed light to this question, recently Xie and co-authors at Yale University and IBM Watson Center, employed in situ transmission electron microscopy to directly observe the phase change of a working device and showed self-healing of novel confined PCM devices by controlling the electromigration of the phase change material at the nanoscale.