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Silver diffuses into chalcogenide films upon light exposure, and the kinetics of photodiffusion has been a subject of various investigations because of the difficulties in the in situ determination of the time-dependent Ag reaction and diffusion development in the chalcogenide layers. In this paper, we report the results of time-resolved neutron reflectivity measurement of Ag/Ge40S60/Si substrates under light exposure to clarify the kinetics of Ag photodiffusion into Ge-rich Ge chalcogenides. It reveals that Ag ions diffuse all over the Ge chalcogenide host layer once Ag dissolves into the layer without forming a metastable reaction layer unlike the case of S-rich Ge chalcogenide such as Ge20S80. The decay curve suggests that the Ag dissolution is determined by two types of Ag capturing chalcogen sites. Also, the observed relaxation time showed anomalous chalcogenide layer thickness dependence. This is attributed to an additional diffusion-driven accelerating factor, which is unique to the silver photodiffusion. Furthermore, we observed indicative changes in the formation of an inhomogeneous in-plane structure at the Ag/chalcogenide interface. This would be related to the nucleation and growth of the Ag-dissolved reaction product.

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Copyright (2017) American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics. The following article appeared in:

Sakaguchi, Y.; Asaoka, H.; & Mitkova M. (2017). Silver photodiffusion into Ge-rich amorphous germanium sulfide-neutron reflectivity study. Journal of Applied Physics, 122(23), 235105.

and may be found at doi: 10.1063/1.5000858