Part I reviews the unique physical properties of phase-change material and demonstrates how materials engineering can be used for optimization in view of different applications. It will focus on the materials optimization for various solid-state memory applications such as storage-class memory or DRAM replacement. A short introduction to neuromorphic computing will be given.
Part II will provide coverage of theoretical simulations on the structural and functional properties of phase-change materials. Insight gained from atomistic simulations on the chemical bonding, on the origin of the optical and electronic contrast between the amorphous and crystalline phases and on the crystallization dynamics, exploited in memory devices, will be reviewed. Basics of glass formation and crystallization kinetics will be briefly discussed. The emphasis will be placed mostly, but not exclusively, on molecular dynamics simulations-based on density functional theory.
Part III provides an introduction to reconfigurable electronics and cognitive applications-biology-inspired/neuromorphic devices. Neuromorphic engineering is a highly cross-disciplinary emerging field aiming at the design of artificial neural systems. The effort of developing cognitive systems on top of a neuromorphic computing architecture takes inspiration from biology, physics, mathematics, computer science and engineering. A state-of-the-art technology review will be given.