Intrinsic nanofilamentation in resistive switching

Xing Wu, Dong Kyu Cha, Michel Bosman, Nagarajan Raghavan, Dmitri B. Migas, Victor E. Borisenko, Xixiang Zhang, Kun Li, Kin-Leong Pey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Resistive switching materials are promising candidates for nonvolatile data storage and reconfiguration of electronic applications. Intensive studies have been carried out on sandwiched metal-insulator-metal structures to achieve high density on-chip circuitry and non-volatile memory storage. Here, we provide insight into the mechanisms that govern highly reproducible controlled resistive switching via a nanofilament by using an asymmetric metal-insulator-semiconductor structure. In-situ transmission electron microscopy is used to study in real-time the physical structure and analyze the chemical composition of the nanofilament dynamically during resistive switching. Electrical stressing using an external voltage was applied by a tungsten tip to the nanosized devices having hafnium oxide (HfO2) as the insulator layer. The formation and rupture of the nanofilaments result in up to three orders of magnitude change in the current flowing through the dielectric during the switching event. Oxygen vacancies and metal atoms from the anode constitute the chemistry of the nanofilament.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)114503
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number11
StatePublished - Mar 16 2013

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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