Resistive Switching and Memory effects in Silicon Oxide Based Nanostructures
Tour, James M.
Doctor of Philosophy
Silicon oxide (SiO x 1 ∠ x [∠, double =]2) has long been used and considered as a passive and insulating component in the construction of electronic devices. In contrast, here the active role of SiO x in constructing a type of resistive switching memory is studied. From electrode-independent electrical behaviors to the visualization of the conducting filament inside the SiO x matrix, the intrinsic switching picture in SiO x is gradually revealed. The thesis starts with the introduction of some similar phenomenological switching behaviors in different electronic structures (Chapter 1), and then generalizes the electrode-material-independent electrical behaviors on SiO x substrates, providing indirect evidence to the intrinsic SiO x switching (Chapter 2). From planar nanogap systems to vertical sandwiched structures, Chapter 3 further discusses the switching behaviors and properties in SiO x . By localization of the switching site, the conducting filament in SiO x is visualized under transmission electron microscope using both static and in situ imaging methods (Chapter 4). With the intrinsic conduction and switching in SiO x largely revealed, Chapter 5 discusses its impact and implications to the molecular electronics and nanoelectronics where SiO x is constantly used. As comparison, another type of memory effect in semiconductors (carbon nanotubes) based on charge trapping at the semiconductor/SiO x interface is discussed (Chapter 6).