Surface diffusion-limited lifetime of silver and copper nanofilaments in resistive switching devices
Date of Issue2019
School of Materials Science and Engineering
Innovative Centre for Flexible Devices
Silver/copper-filament-based resistive switching memory relies on the formation and disruption of a metallic conductive filament (CF) with relatively large surface-to-volume ratio. The nanoscale CF can spontaneously break after formation, with a lifetime ranging from few microseconds to several months, or even years. Controlling and predicting the CF lifetime enables device engineering for a wide range of applications, such as non-volatile memory for data storage, tunable short/long term memory for synaptic neuromorphic computing, and fast selection devices for crosspoint arrays. However, conflictive explanations for the CF retention process are being proposed. Here we show that the CF lifetime can be described by a universal surface-limited self-diffusion mechanism of disruption of the metallic CF. The surface diffusion process provides a new perspective of ion transport mechanism at the nanoscale, explaining the broad range of reported lifetimes, and paving the way for material engineering of resistive switching device for memory and computing applications.
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