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Title: Spectroscopic investigation of resistive switching mechanisms in pulsed laser deposited metal-oxide thin films
Author: Phillips, Monifa Louise
ISNI:       0000 0004 7654 4530
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2018
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Today, CMOS-compatible Flash memory technology dominates the non-volatile memory storage market due to high density and low fabrication costs. However, with CMOS approaching fundamental scaling limits, research into novel emerging non-volatile memory storage technologies that exploit materials properties including resistance, spin and polarisation, has significantly progressed. The ideal non-volatile memory technology would compete with Flash, offering high-density memory storage at low costs, however it would outperform Flash due to its faster operating speeds, lower energy requirements, greater endurance and greater potential for scaling. Of all the emerging technologies, resistive RAM (RRAM) elements, in which reproducible (switchable) and distinct high and low resistance states are the basis of memory storage, are considered most advantageous due to their superior potential for scaling, fastest exhibited operating speeds and extremely low energy requirements. Despite progress in the field of RRAM research, the underlying mechanisms that allow a device to switch between high and low resistance states remains unclear in many materials systems and is the key motivation behind this work. Here, Pulsed Laser Deposited (PLD) RRAM devices that incorporate resistive switching transition metal oxide thin films were studied using Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy (EELS). Basic metal/oxide/metal RRAM heterostructures that incorporated strongly oxidising titanium electrodes and polycrystalline ZnO and manganese-doped ZnO were investigated in Chapter 3. These devices were designed for direct comparison to a device in presented the literature which displayed the simultaneous co-switching of resistance and magnetisation states. In the devices fabricated here, EELS analysis revealed Mn-phase segregation both at grain boundaries both above and below the top and bottom electrodes, which supported the proposed co-switching mechanism. In Chapter 4, epitaxial single crystal perovskite oxide Pr0.48Ca0.52MnO3 was incorporated into a novel metal/oxide/tunnel-oxide/metal RRAM structure, where the thickness of the interfacial Yttria-stabilised Zirconia tunnel oxide varied the output current density. In both the ZnO and Pr0.48Ca0.52MnO3 devices, EELS analysis revealed that the observed resistive switching was mediated by the field-induced exchange of oxygen vacancies between the bulk oxide and an interfacial oxide. Despite this similarity, the overall device resistance was governed by different effects: for the polycrystalline ZnO-based devices, this was the oxygen-vacancy induced formation and dissolution of a highly resistive TiO2 interfacial layer; in contrast, for the epitaxial Pr0.48Ca0.52MnO3 device, this was the oxygen-vacancy induced charge accumulation and dissipation in the tunnel oxide, which modulated the tunnel barrier height.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QC Physics ; QD Chemistry