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Phase Change Materials

picture of phase change materialsPhase change materials are class of materials, which can remain stable in a crystal or amorphous phase at ambient conditions requiring a significant amount of heat for a phase change. PCMs are gaining application in memory devices, where a bit of information is stored by changing the phase of a material region with help of heat, long pulse – recrystallization, short pulse – amorphization. We found that interconversion between phases could also be done by application of stress field. Compressive stress converts glass into crystal and tensile stress can convert crystal back into glass. Stress- induced interconversion does not impair the material as much as the heat-induced protocol. Stress conversion can also be faster, which allows to design highly efficient memory devices with high areal density.