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Conductance Quantization in Resistive Random Access Memory

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      The intrinsic scaling-down ability, simple metal-insulator-metal (MIM) sandwich structure, excellent performances, and complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) technology-compatible fabrication processes make resistive random access memory (RRAM) one of the most promising candidates for the next-generation memory. The RRAM device also exhibits rich electrical, thermal, magnetic, and optical effects, in close correlation with the abundant resistive switching (RS) materials, metal-oxide interface, and multiple RS mechanisms including the formation/rupture of nanoscale to atomic-sized conductive filament (CF) incorporated in RS layer. Conductance quantization effect has been observed in the atomic-sized CF in RRAM, which provides a good opportunity to deeply investigate the RS mechanism in mesoscopic dimension. In this review paper, the operating principles of RRAM are introduced first, followed by the summarization of the basic conductance quantization phenomenon in RRAM and the related RS mechanisms, device structures, and material system. Then, we discuss the theory and modeling of quantum transport in RRAM. Finally, we present the opportunities and challenges in quantized RRAM devices and our views on the future prospects.

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      Polarity discontinuities at the interfaces between different crystalline materials (heterointerfaces) can lead to nontrivial local atomic and electronic structure, owing to the presence of dangling bonds and incomplete atomic coordinations. These discontinuities often arise in naturally layered oxide structures, such as the superconducting copper oxides and ferroelectric titanates, as well as in artificial thin film oxide heterostructures such as manganite tunnel junctions. If polarity discontinuities can be atomically controlled, unusual charge states that are inaccessible in bulk materials could be realized. Here we have examined a model interface between two insulating perovskite oxides--LaAlO3 and SrTiO3--in which we control the termination layer at the interface on an atomic scale. In the simple ionic limit, this interface presents an extra half electron or hole per two-dimensional unit cell, depending on the structure of the interface. The hole-doped interface is found to be insulating, whereas the electron-doped interface is conducting, with extremely high carrier mobility exceeding 10,000 cm2 V(-1) s(-1). At low temperature, dramatic magnetoresistance oscillations periodic with the inverse magnetic field are observed, indicating quantum transport. These results present a broad opportunity to tailor low-dimensional charge states by atomically engineered oxide heteroepitaxy.
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        Nanoionics-based resistive switching memories.

        Many metal-insulator-metal systems show electrically induced resistive switching effects and have therefore been proposed as the basis for future non-volatile memories. They combine the advantages of Flash and DRAM (dynamic random access memories) while avoiding their drawbacks, and they might be highly scalable. Here we propose a coarse-grained classification into primarily thermal, electrical or ion-migration-induced switching mechanisms. The ion-migration effects are coupled to redox processes which cause the change in resistance. They are subdivided into cation-migration cells, based on the electrochemical growth and dissolution of metallic filaments, and anion-migration cells, typically realized with transition metal oxides as the insulator, in which electronically conducting paths of sub-oxides are formed and removed by local redox processes. From this insight, we take a brief look into molecular switching systems. Finally, we discuss chip architecture and scaling issues.
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          Redox-Based Resistive Switching Memories - Nanoionic Mechanisms, Prospects, and Challenges


            Author and article information

            [ ]Key Laboratory of Microelectronics Devices and Integrated Technology, Institute of Microelectronics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100029 China
            [ ]Lab of Nanofabrication and Novel Device Integration, Institute of Microelectronics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100029 China
            [ ]Department of Materials Physics and Chemistry, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing, 100083 China
            [ ]Departament d’Enginyeria Electrònica, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, 08193 Spain
            Nanoscale Res Lett
            Nanoscale Res Lett
            Nanoscale Research Letters
            Springer US (New York )
            26 October 2015
            26 October 2015
            : 10
            © Li et al. 2015

            Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

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