Continuous electrical tuning of the chemical composition of TaO(x)-based memristors.

Hewlett-Packard Laboratories, 1501 Page Mill Road, Palo Alto, California 94304, USA.
ACS Nano (Impact Factor: 12.03). 02/2012; 6(3):2312-8. DOI: 10.1021/nn2044577
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT TaO(x)-based memristors have recently demonstrated both subnanosecond resistance switching speeds and very high write/erase switching endurance. Here we show that the physical state variable that enables these properties is the oxygen concentration in a conduction channel, based on the measurement of the thermal coefficient of resistance of different TaO(x) memristor states and a set of reference Ta-O films of known composition. The continuous electrical tunability of the oxygen concentration in the channel, with a resolution of a few percent, was demonstrated by controlling the write currents with a one transistor-one memristor (1T1M) circuit. This study demonstrates that solid-state chemical kinetics is important for the determination of the electrical characteristics of this relatively new class of device.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This work exploits the switching dynamics of nanoscale resistive random access memory (ReRAM) cells with particular emphasis on the origin of the observed variability when cells are consecutively cycled/programmed at distinct memory states. It is demonstrated that this variance is a common feature of all ReRAM elements and is ascribed to the formation and rupture of conductive filaments that expand across the active core, independently of the material employed as the active switching core, the causal physical switching mechanism, the switching mode (bipolar/unipolar) or even the unit cells' dimensions. Our hypothesis is supported through both experimental and theoretical studies on TiO2 and In2O3 : SnO2 (ITO) based ReRAM cells programmed at three distinct resistive states. Our prototypes employed TiO2 or ITO active cores over 5 × 5 µm2 and 100 × 100 µm2 cell areas, with all tested devices demonstrating both unipolar and bipolar switching modalities. In the case of TiO2-based cells, the underlying switching mechanism is based on the non-uniform displacement of ionic species that foster the formation of conductive filaments. On the other hand, the resistive switching observed in the ITO-based devices is considered to be due to a phase change mechanism. The selected experimental parameters allowed us to demonstrate that the observed programming variance is a common feature of all ReRAM devices, proving that its origin is dependent upon randomly oriented local disorders within the active core that have a substantial impact on the overall state variance, particularly for high-resistive states.
    Journal of Physics D Applied Physics 01/2014; · 2.53 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Moisture invasion into memory devices can result in data loss and malfunctions in write/erase switching. Deteriorated uniformity and retention characteristics, and distorted switching hysteresis loops, are observed in moisture-attacked Pt-dispersed SiO2 nanometallic thin-film devices, and can be effectively prevented by coating the device with a nanoscale Al2O3 barrier layer grown by an atomic layer deposition method. The moisture-attacked devices exhibit evidence of cumulating ion current and ion potential with repeated switching. In contrast, a capped device with an extremely uniform and reproducible resistive switching behavior features a completely symmetric current–voltage curve expected for a purely electronic device.
    Applied Physics A 112(2). · 1.69 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In thin films of mixed ionic electronic conductors sandwiched by two ion-blocking electrodes, the homogeneous migration of ions and their polarization will modify the electronic carrier distribution across the conductor, thereby enabling homogeneous resistive switching. Here we report non-filamentary memristive switching based on the bulk oxide ion conductivity of amorphous GaOx (x~1.1) thin films. We directly observe reversible enrichment and depletion of oxygen ions at the blocking electrodes responding to the bias polarity by using photoemission and transmission electron microscopies, thus proving that oxygen ion mobility at room temperature causes memristive behaviour. The shape of the hysteresis I-V curves is tunable by the bias history, ranging from narrow counter figure-eight loops to wide hysteresis, triangle loops as found in the mathematically derived memristor model. This dynamical behaviour can be attributed to the coupled ion drift and diffusion motion and the oxygen concentration profile acting as a state function of the memristor.
    Nature Communications 03/2014; 5:3473. · 10.74 Impact Factor