Protons: Critical Species for Resistive Switching in Interface-Type Memristors

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Kunwar, S 
Somodi, CB 
Lalk, RA 
Rutherford, BX 
Corey, Z 

jats:titleAbstract</jats:title>jats:pInterface‐type (IT) resistive switching (RS) memories are promising for next generation memory and computing technologies owing to the filament‐free switching, high on/off ratio, low power consumption, and low spatial variability. Although the switching mechanisms of memristors have been widely studied in filament‐type devices, they are largely unknown in IT memristors. In this work, using the simple Au/Nb:SrTiOjats:sub3</jats:sub> (Nb:STO) as a model Schottky system, it is identified that protons from moisture are key element in determining the RS characteristics in IT memristors. The Au/Nb:STO devices show typical Schottky interface controlled current–voltage (jats:italicI</jats:italic>–jats:italicV</jats:italic>) curves with a large on/off ratio under ambient conditions. Surprisingly, in a controlled environment without protons/moisture, the large jats:italicI</jats:italic>–jats:italicV</jats:italic> hysteresis collapses with the disappearance of a high resistance state (HRS) and the Schottky barrier. Once the devices are re‐exposed to a humid environment, the typical large jats:italicI</jats:italic>–jats:italicV</jats:italic> hysteresis can be recovered within hours as the HRS and Schottky interface are restored. The RS mechanism in Au/Nb:STO is attributed to the Schottky barrier modulation by a proton assisted electron trapping and detrapping process. This work highlights the important role of protons/moisture in the RS properties of IT memristors and provides fundamental insight for switching mechanisms in metal oxides‐based memory devices.</jats:p>


Funder: Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences; Id:

Funder: Office of Science; Id:

Au/Nb:STO, charge trapping/detrapping, interface-type memristors, moisture effect, resistive switching
Journal Title
Advanced Electronic Materials
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EPSRC (EP/T012218/1)
European Commission Horizon 2020 (H2020) ERC (882929)