Atomic layer deposition of Ge chalcogenide layers for 3D-RRAM applications

Leuven - Master projects
About a week ago

Explore the growth chemistry of Germanium chalcogenide layers deposited by atomic layer deposition for application in 3D resistive random access memory.

Growth in cutting edge technologies including cloud computing and smart devices among others is the major drive in finding reliable and scalable data storage solutions. The 3D memory technology is promising to fulfil the storage needs by cramming more and more data in same physical space. One of today's most promising alternative concepts for scaled memory is RRAM (Resistive RAM) which is based on the electronic switching of a resistor element. The combination of this memory element with a diode-type selector device results in a highly scalable RRAM memory cell.  The integration of these memory cells in 3D cross-bar arrays can only be accomplished with a deposition technique that insures excellent step coverage in 3D device structures, i.e. Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD).

In this master’s thesis, you will focus on Germanium chalcogenide layers through atomic layer deposition (ALD) for application in 3D RRAM. The scientific goal will be to gain insight in surface chemistry and nucleation mechanisms of the Germanium chalcogenide growth processes so that it can be used to establish a precise control on composition, uniformity, and conformality of grown layers on both planar and 3D substrates. The experimental part will include a full parametrized study of the deposition process conditions (temperature, precursor doses, exposure times), aided by in-situ mass spectrometry. Ex-situ (TOF-SIMS, AFM, SEM, RBS) and in-situ characterization (mass spectrometer) techniques will be used to understand the nucleation mechanisms and surface chemistry at play during the deposition. The aim for getting such insights is to identify the key process parameters for optimizing the germanium chalcogenide ALD processes towards a controlled composition, higher conformality in 3D substrates, and controlled amorphous stability.


Type of project: Thesis

Duration: 6 months

Required degree: Master of Engineering Technology, Master of Science, Master of Engineering Science

Required background: Chemistry/Chemical Engineering, Materials Engineering, Nanoscience & Nanotechnology

Supervising scientist(s): For further information or for application, please contact: Matty Caymax ( and Ali Haider ( and Annelies Delabie (

Imec allowance will be provided.

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