Time-dependent drift of resistance and threshold voltage in phase change memory (PCM) devices is of concern as it leads to data loss. Electrical drift in amorphous chalcogenides has been argued to be either due to electronic or stress relaxation mechanisms. Here we show that drift in amorphized Ge2Sb2Te5 nanowires with exposed surfaces is extremely low in comparison to thin-film devices. However, drift in stressed nanowires embedded under dielectric films is comparable to thin-films. Our results shows that drift in PCM is due to stress relaxation and will help in understanding and controlling drift in PCM devices.

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