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Title: Resistive switching in silicon-rich silicon oxide
Author: Mehonić, Adnan
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2014
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Over the recent decade, many different concepts of new emerging memories have been proposed. Examples of such include ferroelectric random access memories (FeRAMs), phase-change RAMs (PRAMs), resistive RAMs (RRAMs), magnetic RAMs (MRAMs), nano-crystal floating-gate flash memories, among others. The ultimate goal for any of these memories is to overcome the limitations of dynamic random access memories (DRAM) and flash memories. Non-volatile memories exploiting resistive switching – resistive RAM (RRAM) devices – offer the possibility of low programming energy per bit, rapid switching, and very high levels of integration – potentially in 3D. Resistive switching in a silicon-based material offers a compelling alternative to existing metal oxide-based devices, both in terms of ease of fabrication, but also in enhanced device performance. In this thesis I demonstrate a redox-based resistive switch exploiting the formation of conductive filaments in a bulk silicon-rich silicon oxide. My devices exhibit multi-level switching and analogue modulation of resistance as well as standard two-level switching. I demonstrate different operational modes (bipolar and unipolar switching modes) that make it possible to dynamically adjust device properties, in particular two highly desirable properties: non-linearity and self-rectification. Scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and conductive atomic force microscopy (C-AFM) measurements provide a more detailed insight into both the location and the dimensions of the conductive filaments. I discuss aspects of conduction and switching mechanisms and we propose a physical model of resistive switching. I demonstrate room temperature quantisation of conductance in silicon oxide resistive switches, implying ballistic transport of electrons through a quantum constriction, associated with an individual silicon filament in the SiOx bulk. I develop a stochastic method to simulate microscopic formation and rupture of conductive filaments inside an oxide matrix. I use the model to discuss switching properties – endurance and switching uniformity.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available