Multistates and Polyamorphism in Phase-Change K2Sb8Se13

Saiful M. Islam, Lintao Peng, Li Zeng, Christos D. Malliakas, Duck Young Chung, D. Bruce Buchholz, Thomas Chasapis, Ran Li, Konstantinos Chrissafis, Julia E. Medvedeva, Giancarlo G. Trimarchi, Matthew Grayson, Tobin J Marks, Michael J. Bedzyk, Robert P. H. Chang, Vinayak P. Dravid, Mercouri G Kanatzidis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The phase-change (PC) materials in the majority of optical data storage media in use today exhibit a fast, reversible crystal → amorphous phase transition that allows them to be switched between on (1) and off (0) binary states. Solid-state inorganic materials with this property are relatively common, but those exhibiting an amorphous → amorphous transition called polyamorphism are exceptionally rare. K2Sb8Se13 (KSS) reported here is the first example of a material that has both amorphous → amorphous polyamorphic transition and amorphous → crystal transition at easily accessible temperatures (227 and 263 °C, respectively). The transitions are associated with the atomic coordinative preferences of the atoms, and all three states of K2Sb8Se13 are stable in air at 25 °C and 1 atm. All three states of K2Sb8Se13 exhibit distinct optical bandgaps, Eg = 1.25, 1.0, and 0.74 eV, for the amorphous-II, amorphous-I, and crystalline versions, respectively. The room-temperature electrical conductivity increases by more than 2 orders of magnitude from amorphous-I to -II and by another 2 orders of magnitude from amorphous-II to the crystalline state. This extraordinary behavior suggests that a new class of materials exist which could provide multistate level systems to enable higher-order computing logic circuits, reconfigurable logic devices, and optical switches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9261-9268
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number29
Publication statusPublished - Jul 25 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry

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