Forming-free, bi-directional polarity conductive-bridge memory devices with Ge2Sb2Te5 solid-state electrolyte and Ag active electrode

Yin Hsien Huang, Hsuan An Chen, Hsin Han Wu, Tsung-Eong Hsien*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Preparation and characteristics of conductive-bridge random access memory devices containing Ge2Sb2Te5 (GST) chalcogenide as the solid-state electrolyte, Ag as the active electrode, and W-Ti as the counter electrode are presented. As revealed by the electrical measurement, only the samples containing crystalline GST exhibited the resistive switching behaviors. With an insertion of ZnS-SiO2 dielectric layer at the Ag/GST interface and a postannealing at 100-°C for 1-min, the sample exhibited the best electrical performance with satisfactory cycleability and retention properties. Moreover, the forming-free and bi-directional polarity features were observed in such a sample type. Microstructure and composition analyses found the finely dispersed nano-scale Ag clusters in GST and, when electrical bias is applied, the migrating Ag ions may build up the connections in between neighboring Ag clusters. Moreover, grain boundaries in polycrystalline GST might be the main paths for Ag migration. The thread-like conduction channels in GST hence form, leading to the low resistance state of sample. On the contrary, the depletion of Ag in GST broke the connections in between Ag clusters when the electrical bias is reversed. This led to the rupture of conduction channels and, hence, the high resistance state of sample. The low operational voltage, forming-free, and bi-directional polarity features observed in (AZGW)T sample might also originated from the fine dispersion of Ag clusters in GST electrolyte.

Original languageEnglish
Article number014505
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 7 Jan 2015

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