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Resistive switching in silicon suboxide films

Mehonic, A; Cueff, S; Wojdak, M; Hudziak, S; Jambois, O; Labbe, C; ... Kenyon, AJ; + view all (2012) Resistive switching in silicon suboxide films. Journal of Applied Physics , 111 , Article 074507. 10.1063/1.3701581. Green open access

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Abstract

We report a study of resistive switching in a silicon-based memristor/resistive RAM (RRAM) device in which the active layer is silicon-rich silica. The resistive switching phenomenon is an intrinsic property of the silicon-rich oxide layer and does not depend on the diffusion of metallic ions to form conductive paths. In contrast to other work in the literature, switching occurs in ambient conditions, and is not limited to the surface of the active material. We propose a switching mechanism driven by competing field-driven formation and current-driven destruction of filamentary conductive pathways. We demonstrate that conduction is dominated by trap assisted tunneling through noncontinuous conduction paths consisting of silicon nanoinclusions in a highly nonstoichiometric suboxide phase. We hypothesize that such nanoinclusions nucleate preferentially at internal grain boundaries in nanostructured films. Switching exhibits the pinched hysteresis I/V loop characteristic of memristive systems, and on/off resistance ratios of 104:1 or higher can be easily achieved. Scanning tunneling microscopy suggests that switchable conductive pathways are 10 nm in diameter or smaller. Programming currents can be as low as 2 μA, and transition times are on the nanosecond scale.

Type:Article
Title:Resistive switching in silicon suboxide films
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI:10.1063/1.3701581
Publisher version:http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3701581
Language:English
Additional information:© 2012 American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics. The following article appeared in Mehonic, A, et al. (2012) Resistive switching in silicon suboxide films. Journal of Applied Physics , 111 , Article 074507.and may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3701581.
UCL classification:UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Electronic and Electrical Engineering

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