Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Promising new alloy for resistive switching memory

Tiny nanoscale filaments could be breakthrough for smaller, denser memory devices

Memory based on electrically-induced "resistive switching" effects have generated a great deal of interest among engineers searching for faster and smaller devices because resistive switching would allow for a higher memory density.

(A) This is an illustration of the RRAM array with each memory cell comprising of one filament (sandwiched between two electrodes). In comparison to the surrounding insulator matrix, a number of nano-filaments are formed within the bulk oxide. (B) This is a basic element of a RRAM cell. Control of the electrical field leads to different resistance states. (C) Localized formation of conductive filaments in a TiO2 thin film is shown. The left shows the conductivity map recorded by CAFM. The right shows the same current mapping in 3D.

Credit: Yuanmin Du/National U.Singapore

Researchers have tested a number of oxide materials for their promise in resistive switching memories, and now a team of researchers in Singapore have demonstrated how conductive nano-filaments in amorphous titanium dioxide (TiO2) thin films could be utilized for resistive switching device applications.

Yuanmin Du, Andrew Thye Shen Wee and researchers from the National University of Singapore and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) of Singapore, describe their results in the journal AIP Advances, which is produced by AIP Publishing.

How Resistive Switching Works

The basic idea of a resistive switching device is that an oxide, which normally acts as an insulator, can be transformed into a conductor, creating a nanoscale filament by using a sufficiently high voltage. With a RRAM (Resistive Random-Access Memory) device comprising of a single filament, two distinct resistance states ("1" and "0") can be obtained through a simple process of filament rupture and re-formation.

The conductivity of the oxide thin films can be adjusted by changing the deposition conditions. "During the measurements of the as-deposited amorphous TiO2 based resistive switching devices, it was found that the oxide thin films initially have good conductivity. This implies that a high electrical breakdown initialization process is not required, as reported in many other switching devices using highly insulating oxide thin films," says Du. "The Conductive Atomic Force Microscopy (CAFM) experiments further confirmed that it is possible to form conductive filaments in oxide thin films through a localized transition by an electrical field."

This research team applied both CAFM and KPFM (Kelvin Probe Force Microscopy), a unique approach that allowed the explanation of the observed resistive switching phenomena. Instead of treating filamentary and interfacial effects separately as done previously, both effects were integrated into one filament-interface model, which could help guide the design of RRAM based devices.

The evidence of high density and uniformly distributed nano-filaments implies that high-density memory cells could be made using such oxide thin films. Such materials are promising for future applications. The small dimension of the formed filament provides great advantages over current technology, as Du explains. "In addition to TiO2, we believe that many other oxides could also have the similar properties."

The article "The resistive switching in TiO2 films studied by conductive atomic force microscopy and Kelvin probe force microscopy" by Yuanmin Du, Amit Kumar, Hui Pan, Kaiyang Zeng, Shijie Wang, Ping Yang and Andrew Thye Shen Wee appears in the journal AIP Advances. See:


AIP Advances is a fully open access, online-only, peer-reviewed journal. It covers all areas of applied physical sciences. With its advanced web 2.0 functionality, the journal puts relevant content and discussion tools in the hands of the community to shape the direction of the physical sciences. See:

Jason Socrates Bardi | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Gamma ray camera offers new view on ultra-high energy electrons in plasma
28.10.2016 | American Physical Society

nachricht Scientists measure how ions bombard fusion device walls
28.10.2016 | American Physical Society

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel light sources made of 2D materials

Physicists from the University of Würzburg have designed a light source that emits photon pairs. Two-photon sources are particularly well suited for tap-proof data encryption. The experiment's key ingredients: a semiconductor crystal and some sticky tape.

So-called monolayers are at the heart of the research activities. These "super materials" (as the prestigious science magazine "Nature" puts it) have been...

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Prototype device for measuring graphene-based electromagnetic radiation created

28.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Gamma ray camera offers new view on ultra-high energy electrons in plasma

28.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

When fat cells change their colour

28.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>