Unipolar resistive switching behaviors and mechanisms in an annealed Ni/ZrO2/TaN memory device

Tsung Ling Tsai, Tsung Han Ho, Tseung-Yuen Tseng

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13 Scopus citations


The effects of Ni/ZrO2/TaN resistive switching memory devices without and with a 400°C annealing process on switching properties are investigated. The devices exhibit unipolar resistive switching behaviors with low set and reset voltages because of a large amount of Ni diffusion with no reaction with ZrO2 after the annealing process, which is confirmed by ToF-SIMS and XPS analyses. A physical model based on a Ni filament is constructed to explain such phenomena. The device that undergoes the 400°C annealing process exhibits an excellent endurance of more than 1.5 × 104 cycles. The improvement can be attributed to the enhancement of oxygen ion migration along grain boundaries, which result in less oxygen ion consumption during the reset process. The device also performs good retention up to 105 s at 150°C. Therefore, it has great potential for high-density nonvolatile memory applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number035108
JournalJournal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 28 Jan 2015


  • Ni diffusion
  • Oxygen ion consumption
  • Resistive random access memory (RRAM)
  • Unipolar resistive switching

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