Structural and Material Changes in Thin Film Chalcogenide Glasses Under Ar-Ion Irradiation

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We present results on structural and compositional changes in GexSe1-x chalcogenide glasses under Ar+ ion irradiation as a function of fluence and ion energies. Energy dispersive X-Ray spectroscopy (EDS) data obtained in this paper shows that the interaction with ions results in the loss of Ge atoms in Se-rich films. The compositional changes affect the structure of the films, which was manifested in differences observed in the Raman spectra. Ion interaction with of the films at the studied energies does affect the surface properties. Simulation of the penetration depth of the ions using Transport of Ions in Matter (TRIM) software shows that the interaction of incident Ar+ ions with the chalcogenide glass occurs within the top 5-nm film thickness, with an etch rate for 450-eV ion energy of approximately 5 nm/s. We suggest the application of this effect for the formation of Redox Conductive Bridge Memory (RCBM) device arrays for which electrical characteristics are presented and discussed.