Nonvolatile Multilevel Resistive Memory Switching In Amorphous La Gd O3 Thin Films

2709 words - 11 pages

Currently there is worldwide interest to develop alternative nonvolatile memory technologies as the commonly used MOS transistor based semiconductor memory devices are rapidly approaching the scaling limits. Among all of the emerging concepts, the metal oxide based resistive random access memory (RRAM) is one of the competitive candidates for future nonvolatile memory applications due to its simple metal-insulator-metal (MIM) structure, high storage density, low power consumption, high operation speed, high endurance, and long retention. , , The memory effect in RRAM is realized through switching of the resistance of the device between the two states (high and low) of resistance.2,3 Based on whether the switching characteristic depends on the voltage polarity, resistive switching is generally classified as unipolar and bipolar switching.3 The unipolar resistive switching is of particular importance as it offers much larger resistance change in simplified circuit architecture. In addition, capability of storing multiple bits in one device has become a significant criterion for RRAMs. , The multi-level resistance switching is expected to enhance the storage density, which means that the memory can store more data in finite space.
Among other metal oxides being explored for RRAM application, amorphous high k-dielectric oxides have gained tremendous attention mainly due to their compatibility to complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technology and the potential for high memory density due to amorphous nature of the film which offers homogeneous structure for efficient down scaling. , , Recently we have demonstrated that amorphous LaGdO3 (LGO), an interlanthanide ABO3 type ternary high-k dielectric oxide material with high linear dielectric constant of ~ 22, large band gap of ~ 5.6 eV, and high crystallization temperature of ~ 1000 °C is a promising material for logic devices. In this paper we report the multilevel unipolar resistive switching observed in amorphous thin films of LGO in Pt/ LGO/ Pt stack geometry which is suitable for RRAM device applications. We have also studied the underlying resistive switching mechanism and associated conduction behavior in the low resistance state (LRS) and high resistance state (HRS) of LGO thin films. Results of these studies are presented in this paper.
About 50 nm thick films of LGO were grown by pulsed laser deposition (PLD) on commercially available Pt/TiO2/SiO2/Si substrates at substrate temperature of ~300 °C and in oxygen ambient at a partial pressure of ~ 10 mTorr. The KrF excimer laser operating at wavelength of 248 nm with 10 Hz repetition rate and at a fluence of ~ 2 J/cm2 was used for the ablation of the ceramic LGO target which was prepared in-house. The structural properties of as-grown LGO layers was studied in-situ by recording reflection high energy electron diffraction (RHEED) patterns and ex-situ by X-ray diffraction measurements which revealed amorphous nature of the film. ...

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