Resistive switching memories (RRAMs) are attractive for replacement of conventional flash in the future. Although different switching materials have been reported; however, low-current operated devices (<100 μA) are necessary for productive RRAM applications. Therefore, TaO x is one of the prospective switching materials because of two stable phases of TaO2 and Ta2O5, which can also control the stable low- and high-resistance states. Long program/erase endurance and data retention at high temperature under low-current operation are also reported in published literature. So far, bilayered TaO x with inert electrodes (Pt and/or Ir) or single layer TaO x with semi-reactive electrodes (W and Ti/W or Ta/Pt) is proposed for real RRAM applications. It is found that the memory characteristics at current compliance (CC) of 80 μA is acceptable for real application; however, data are becoming worst at CC of 10 μA. Therefore, it is very challenging to reduce the operation current (few microampere) of the RRAM devices. This study investigates the switching mode, mechanism, and performance of low-current operated TaO x -based devices as compared to other RRAM devices. This topical review will not only help for application of TaO x -based nanoscale RRAM devices but also encourage researcher to overcome the challenges in the future production.
Semiconductor memory is an essential component of today’s electronic systems. It is used in any equipment that uses a processor such as computers, smart phones, tablets, digital cameras, entertainment devices, global positioning systems, automotive systems, etc. Memories constituted 20% of the semiconductor market for the last 30 years and are expected to increase in the coming years . Generally, memory devices can be categorized as 'volatile’ and 'non-volatile’ based on their operational principles. A volatile memory cannot retain stored data without the external power whereas a non-volatile memory (NVM) is the one which can retain the stored information irrespective of the external power. Static random access memory and dynamic random access memory (DRAM) fall into the volatile category, while 'Flash’ which is the short form of 'flash electrically erasable programmable read-only memory’ is the dominant commercial NVM technology. The requirements of an ideal NVM are high density, scalability, low cost, low-energy operation, and high performance for potential applications. Today’s dominant memory technologies are DRAM and Flash, both have scaling issues. The DRAM offers very high endurance (approximately 1014 cycles); however, the endurance of Flash is limited (approximately 106 cycles), and the operation is slow as the program/erase time is relatively high (microseconds up to milliseconds). Generally, it needs high voltage for program and erase operations (>׀10 ׀V) [2, 3]. In order to overcome these problems, other non-volatile memories such as ferroelectric RAM (FeRAM) [4, 5], magnetic RAM (MRAM) [6, 7], phase-change-memory (PCM) , and resistive RAM (RRAM) are being investigated [9–25]. The basic memories, prototypical, and emerging memories with respect to various performance parameters from International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS) in 2012 have been compared . All these memories store data by resistance change in contrast to charge as in basic memories. In FeRAM, the polarization direction of the dipoles in the ferroelectric layer can be switched by applying the electric field which, in turn, leads the different memory states. MRAM utilizes the orientation of magnetization of a small magnetic element by the application of magnetic field which gives rise to the change in the electric resistance and enable data bits to be stored. Although, FeRAM and MRAM both have fast switching (<20 ns) and long endurance (>1015 cycles), these memories show insufficient scalability . Moreover, MRAM needs high programming current (in the range of milliampere) . Compared to FeRAM and MRAM, PCM offers greater potential for future application because of its better scalability . In principle, PCM heats up a material changing it from low-resistance polycrystalline phase to a high-resistance amorphous phase reversibly. So in PCM, the generated heat, i.e., thermal effect, controls the switching. Due to this, the PCM cell needs more power for switching which limits its application in low-power devices. All memories discussed above are in production, though RRAM is at its early maturity level and it shows excellent potential to meet ITRS requirements for next-generation memory technology. Apart from its non-volatility, it shows good scalability potential below 10 nm. Some of the RRAM advantages are summarized in schematic diagram (Figure 1). Ho et al.  has demonstrated a 9-nm half-pitch RRAM device. They showed that if high-density vertical bipolar junction transistor will be used as a select transistor, it cannot provide the programming current required for PCRAM below 40 nm while for RRAM, it can be used even below 10 nm. Park et al.  reported sub-5-nm device in a Pt/TiO2/Cu structure. Ultra-high-speed operation of RRAM using atomic layer deposited HfO2 switching material is reported by Lee et al. , where a 300-ps pulse of only 1.4 V, successfully switches the device without any change in memory window. Torrezan et al.  also demonstrated the fast switching speed of 105 ps. Low energy consumption of only 0.1 pJ per operation  and multi-level data storage  required for high-density integration were reported. The energy consumption can be further reduced with increased reliability by scaling it to smaller dimensions . Long pulse endurance of >1012 cycles is also demonstrated in TaO x -based crossbar device . Other incentives of RRAM include its simple metal-insulator-metal (MIM) structure and good complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) compatibility. However, the poor understanding of the switching reliability, mechanism, low-current operation (<100 μA) are the bottlenecks in its further development and optimization. Overall, on the light of above discussion, RRAM is one of the most promising candidates for the replacement of flash in future. On the other hand, RRAM can also find its own application area, which will be more challenging and useful in the near future. Furthermore, the TaO x -based RRAM devices have been also reported extensively in the literature and shown good resistive switching performance. It is expected that this TaO x -based RRAM device has strong potential for production in near future. However, the TaO x -based RRAM devices with prospective and challenges have not been reviewed in literature yet.
This topical review investigates the switching mode, mechanism, and performances of the TaO x -based devices as compared to other RRAMs in literature. Long program/erase endurance and data retention of >85°C with high yield have a greater prospective of TaO x -based nanoscale RRAM devices; however, lower current (few microampere) operation is very challenging for practical application, which is reviewed in detail here.
Resistive RAM overview
Resistance switching effect was first reported by Hickmott in 1962  and had subsequently been observed by many researchers over the years [9–36]. RRAM is a two-terminal passive device in which a comparatively insulating switching layer is sandwiched between two electrically conducting electrodes, as shown in Figure 2. However, a working RRAM device generally consists of one transistor (1T) or one diode (1D) and one resistor (1R), i.e., 1T1R or 1D1R configurations. The resistance of the RRAM device can be altered by simply applying external bias across the MIM stack. The electrode on which a voltage or current is applied can be referred to as the top electrode (TE), and the other electrically grounded electrode can be called as the bottom electrode (BE).
Switching modes: unipolar/bipolar
The resistance of a RRAM device can be modulated in two ways as shown by the current/voltage (I-V) curves in Figure 3. On the basis of I-V curves, the switching modes can be classified as unipolar (nonpolar) and bipolar. In unipolar resistive switching mode (Figure 3a), the switching direction does not depend on the polarity of the applied voltage and generally occurs at higher voltage amplitude that of bipolar switching. A pristine memory device with high initial resistance state (IRS) can be switched in to a low-resistance state (LRS) by applying a high voltage stress. This process is called the 'electroforming process’ or simply 'forming process’ and alters the resistance of the pristine device irreversibly [15, 37]. Some RRAM devices do not need the forming process and are called forming-free devices. Forming-free devices are highly required for RRAM practical application and are reported infrequently [38–41]. After the forming process, the RRAM device can be switched to a high-resistance state (HRS), generally lower than that of the IRS by the application of a particular voltage called reset voltage. This process is called 'RESET process.’ Switching from a HRS to a LRS called 'SET.’ In the SET process, generally, the current is limited by the current compliance (CC) in order to avoid device damage. The resistive switching in unipolar mode has been observed in many highly insulating oxides, such as binary metal oxides . The unipolar devices suffer from high non-uniformity and poor endurance. In bipolar resistive switching mode, the SET and RESET occur in the opposite polarity, i.e., if memory device can be set by applying positive voltage on TE, then only negative voltage can reset the device (Figure 3b). So, this type of resistive switching is sensitive to the polarity of the applied voltage. For bipolar switching to occur, the MIM stack should be asymmetric generally, such as different electrodes or a dedicated voltage polarity for the forming process. Many oxides show bipolar resistive switching and will be also discussed later. The devices in which unipolar and bipolar modes can be changed by changing the operation conditions are called 'nonpolar’ devices , and the resistive switching mechanism is explained below.
Resistive switching mechanism
Generally, depending on the conduction path, the switching mechanism can be classified as (1) filamentary-type and (2) interface-type, as shown in Figure 4. In the filamentary model, the switching originates from the formation/rupture of conducting filament in the switching material by the application of suitable external bias shown in Figure 4a [15, 17]. The filamentary paths are formed under SET and ruptured under RESET. Electrochemical migration of oxygen ions and redox reaction near the metal/oxide interface is widely considered as the possible mechanism behind the formation and rupture of the filaments . However, clear visualization of the conducting filaments in switching material has yet to be achieved. Studies involving high-resolution transmission electron microscopy showed the conducting filaments in different systems [24, 44–48]; however, the switching mechanism is still clearly not understood. On the other hand, in the interface-type mechanism, the switching occurs at the interface of the metal and switching material, as shown in Figure 4b . Several models have been reported for the driving mechanism involved in an interface-type conducting path, such as electrochemical migration of oxygen vacancies [50–53], trapping of charge carriers (hole or electron) [54, 55], and a Mott transition induced by carriers doped at the interface [56–58]. To understand the difference between the filament and interface types of resistive switching, the area dependence of the RRAM device resistance could be examined. In general, if the resistance of the LRS is independent of the device area and HRS varies inversely, the switching is filamentary. When both LRS and HRS increase with decreasing device area, the switching is related to interface-type.
Further, depending on the switching material and electrodes, the resistive switching memory can be divided into two types: cation-based switching called electrochemical metallization (ECM) memory and anion-based switching called valance change memory (VCM) . In cation-based memory, a solid-electrolyte was used as a switching material and an electrochemically active metal such as copper (Cu), silver (Ag), and Nickel (Ni) as TE and an inert metal as BE . Generally, the ions of Cu and Ag were known as mobile ions. When positive voltage was applied on the Cu TE, for example, metallic Cu was reduced electrochemically to give Cu+ ions generated from metallic Cu due to anodic dissolution. These ions then diffused through the solid electrolyte due to electric field and reached to the BE where these ions reduced to become metallic Cu and electro-crystallize on the BE. As a result, a conducting filament grew preferentially from the BE and finally bridge the BE and TE. Consequently, the device switched to the LRS. That is the reason that ECM devices were also called conducting bridge RAM. When negative voltage was applied on the TE electrode, the Cu filament broken due to electrochemical dissolution reaction initiated by an electronic current through the metallic bridge, and, in parallel, an electrochemical current and the device came into HRS. In recent years, many solid electrolyte materials such as GeSe x [11, 59, 60], GeS [61, 62], Cu2S , Ag2S , Ta2O5[65, 66], SiO2, TiO2, ZrO2, HfO2, GeO x , MoO x /GdO x , TiO x /TaSiO y , GeSe x /TaO x , CuTe/Al2O3, and Ti/TaO x  were reported. The VCM devices consist of a sub-stoichiometric switching material and an inert electrode such as Pt, Ir, Au, etc., or reactive electrode such as W, Al, Ti, Ni, etc. In VCM devices, switching occurs due to the redox reaction induced by anion (O2-) migration to form conducting filament, as shown in Figure 4a. These devices usually need a forming step in order to switch between LRS and HRS reversibly [17, 21]. During electroforming process, the generation of oxygen O2- ions occurs in the switching material due to chemical bond breaking. The generated O2- ions migrate toward the TE under the external bias, and oxygen gas evolution at the anode due to anodic reaction are also reported in literature. To maintain the charge neutrality, the valance state of the cations changes. Therefore, it is called VCM memory. Due to O2- ion generation and anodic reaction, oxygen vacancy conducting path generates in the switching material between TE and BE, and device switches to LRS. The electroforming conditions strongly depend on the dimension of the sample, in particular, the switching material thickness. In addition, thermal effects play an essential role in the electroforming, and it sometimes damage the devices by introducing morphological changes [17, 21]. Partially blown electrodes during forming have been observed . Thus, the high-voltage forming step needs to be eliminated in order to product the RRAM devices in future. However, anion-based switching material with combination of different electrode materials and interface engineering will have good flexibility to obtain proper RRAM device.
Resistance switching can originate from a variety of defects that alter electronic transport rather than a specific electronic structure of insulating materials, and consequently, almost all insulating oxides exhibit resistance switching behavior. Over the years, several materials in different structures have been reported for RRAM application to have better performance. The switching materials of anion-based devices include transition metal oxides, complex oxides, large bandgap dielectrics, nitrides, and chalcogenides. Table 1 lists some of the important materials known to exhibit resistance switching for prospective applications. Few of them reported low-current operation <100 μA only, which is very challenging for real applications in future. Among other various metal oxides such as NiO x [74–76], TiO x [77–81], HfO x [29, 38, 82–86], Cu2O , SrTiO3[43, 88], ZrO2[89–92], WO x [28, 30, 93], AlO x [94–97], ZnO x [39, 98–101], SiO x [102, 103], GdO x [104, 105], Pr0.7Ca0.3MnO3[15, 106], GeO x [107, 108], and tantalum oxide (TaO x )-based devices [31, 109–128] are becoming attractive owing to their ease of deposition using existing conventional systems, high thermal stability up to 1,000°C , chemical inertness, compatibility with CMOS processes, and high dielectric constant (ϵ = 25). Moreover, Ta-O system has only two stable phases of Ta2O5 and TaO2 with large solubility of O (71.43 to 66.67 at.%) above 1,000°C in its phase diagram . This property of TaO x is important in order to achieve long switching endurance (the longest reported endurance of >1012 cycles is from TaO x -based device ). It has a metastable and comparatively conducting TaO2 phase. Further, the absolute value of Gibbs free energy for redox (reduction-oxidation) reaction of TaO x is low which shows its better stability . The redox reaction is written in Equation 1 below.
A schematic potential energy curve for TaO x is reported by Wei et al. . This implies that both the HRS and the LRS of TaO x are stable owing to small difference of Gibbs free energy in between LRS and HRS, and the barrier height between these states is quite high. Due to these benefits of TaO x switching material, it is important to design RRAM for real application. That is why this material has been studied in this review below.
Resistive RAM using TaO x material
A small via size of 150 × 150 nm2 of the W/Ti/TaO x /W and W/TaO x /W structures was fabricated . A high-κ Ta2O5 film with a thickness of ≈7 nm was then deposited by an e-beam evaporator. Then, a thin Ti (≈3 nm) interfacial layer by rf sputtering was deposited. The final devices were obtained after a lift-off process. Memory device structure and thicknesses of all layers were observed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) with an energy of 200 keV. Figure 5a shows a typical cross-sectional TEM image of the W/TaO x /W structure. The device size is 150 × 150 nm2. The thickness of TaO x layer is 6.8 nm (Figure 5b). Figure 6a shows TEM image of the W/TiO x /TaO x /W structures. The thicknesses of the TiO x and TaO x layers are approximately 3 and 7 nm, respectively. Both films show an amorphous characteristics outside (Figure 6b) and inside (Figure 6c) regions of the via-hole. The device size is approximately 0.6× 0.6 μm2. As Ti removes oxygen from the Ta2O5 film in the W/TiO x /TaO x /W structure, the film becomes more oxygen-deficient TaO x , which is very important to achieve an improved resistive switching. XPS analyses were carried out to determine the oxidation states of all layers after the fabrication process, and the resulting spectra are presented in Figure 7[22, 114]. The spectra were simulated using Gaussian-Lorentzian functions. The peak binding energies of Ta2O5 4f7/2 and Ta2O5 4f5/2 electrons for the Ta2O5/W structure were centered at 26.7 and 28.6 eV, respectively (Figure 7a), and the binding energies of Ta 4f7/2 and Ta 4f5/2 electrons were centered at 21.77 and 23.74 eV, respectively. This suggests that the high-κ Ta2O5 film mixed with Ta metal, resulting in a TaO x layer where x< 2.5. This may be due to the reaction of oxygen with the bottom W layer during deposition of the Ta2O5 film. It is very interesting to note that the area ratios of the Ta 4f7/2 and Ta 4f5/2 peaks with respect to the area of the Ta2O5 4f7/2 peak are both 0.03 for the TaO x /W structure, while those of the TiO x /TaO x /W structure are 0.27 and 0.16, respectively (Figure 7b). This means that the Ta content of the TiO x /TaO x /W structure was higher than that of the TaO x /W structure. Furthermore, the binding energy of TiO2 2p3/2 in Ti/TaO x /W structure is 459.57 eV (Figure 7c). As Ti removes oxygen from the Ta2O5 film, the film becomes the more oxygen-deficient TaO x , which is vital to achieve improved resistive switching. The peak binding energies of the W 4f7/2, WO3 4f7/2, W 4f5/2, and WO3 4f5/2 electrons of the TaO x /W structure are centered at 31.6, 36.2, 33.9, and 38.3 eV, respectively (Figure 7d). The area ratios of the WO3 4f7/2 and WO34f5/2 spectra with respect to the area of W 4f7/2 are both 0.03 for the TaO x /W structure, while those for the TiO x /TaO x /W structure are 0.27 and 0.16, respectively (Figure 7e). This suggests that W can be oxidized at the TaO x /W interface when a Ti layer is not present, resulting in a TaO x /WO x /W structure which may have inferior resistive switching properties. When a Ti layer is deposited on the TaO x film, the W layer is prevented from oxidizing at the TaO x /W interface, leading to the formation of a TiO x /TaO x /W structure. Considering the Gibbs free energies of TiO2, Ta2O5, and WO3 films, which are -887.6, –760.5, and -506.5 kJ/mol, respectively, at 300 K , the Ti will consume the highest oxygen content owing to its stronger reactivity than those of the other materials, thereby forming Ta-rich (or defective TaO x ) film. This also prevents oxidation of the W TE at the TaO x /W interface owing to the migration of oxygen from the underlying films toward the Ti film, which contributes to the improved resistive switching memory performance as described below.
Resistive switching memory characteristics are explained here. Figure 8 shows current/voltage and resistance-voltage characteristics. The W/TiO x /TaO x /W device exhibits >1,000 consecutive repeatable dc switching cycles with a better resistance ratio of 102 under a low CC of 80 μA, the W/TaO x /W device shows few switching cycles with a higher CC of 300 μA . In this case, negatively charged oxygen ions (O2-) migrate from the switching material toward W TE, and this has a lesser possibility to form an oxygen-rich layer at the W TE/TaO x interface, leading to the formation of multi-conduction filaments. However, the insertion of a thin (≈3 nm) Ti layer in between the W and TaO x layers in the W/TiO x /TaO x /W device makes a vast difference because Ti can be used as an oxygen reservoir. A repeatable switching of >10,000 cycles is also observed . Under 'SET,’ O2- rather than oxygen vacancies will migrate from TaO x toward the TE, resulting in a TiO2 layer which controls the conducting vacancy filament diameter in the TaO x layer by controlling current overflow and producing a tighter distribution of the LRS. Owing to this series resistance, the devices exhibit non-ohmic current. It is true that the conducting filament is formed through the TaO x film. When negative voltage is applied to the TE, oxygen ions are pushed from the TiO2 layer toward the conducting filament where they recombine with oxygen vacancies or oxidize the conducting filament. The device will be in HRS. Control of oxygen-deficient filament formation and rupture is facilitated by insertion of the thin Ti layer at the TE/TaO x interface, which results in repeatable and reproducible resistive switching characteristics, which has very good prospective of TaO x -based resistive switching memory in a W/TiO x /TaO x /W structure for real application. Some other reported results have been explained below.
Yang et al.  has reported the Pt/TaO x /Ta device with a diameter of 100 μm, where Pt was grounded and external bias was on the Ta electrode. Long program/erase (P/E) endurance of 1.5 × 1010 cycles with a pulse width of 1 μs is reported. Further, a comparison of endurance characteristics made between TiO x and TaO x -based devices (Figure 9) shows far better performance by TaO x -based devices stretching the P/E cycles to >109 cycles (Figure 9b) as compared to only 104 cycles for TiO x -based devices and it is collapsed finally (Figure 9a). The reason having longer endurance in TaO x devices is the presence of only two solid stable phases in bulk equilibrium with each other and large oxygen solubility in Ta-O system which can act as the source/sink of mobile ions for switching in the insulating phase as compared to many Magneli phases in Ti-O system . The operation current could be reduced to 100 μA. The underlying switching mechanism is attributed to the redox reaction resulting insulating Ta2O5 and conducting Ta(O) solid solution. The energy-filtered TEM (EFTEM) zero-loss images and oxygen map of the switching region confirm also the reduction of TaO x thickness by half in the active region, and the oxygen content in the reduced region is found as low as that in the Ta electrode. The switching phenomenon is believed to be due to oxygen vacancies and ions through nano-ionic transport and a redox process, and this can be called VCM . A schematic diagram was shown in Figure 10a [31, 41, 43, 131–133]. As suggested previously, an intrinsic Schottky barrier exists between the Pt TE and the Ta2O5-x layer contact while in the insulating state, and an ohmic contact is formed in the LRS. This suggests that oxygen ion movement under external bias leads to the LRS to HRS or HRS to LRS. Lee et al.  reported TaO x -based crossbar resistive switching memory device. Figure 10b shows the scanning electron microscopy (SEM) image. The device stack consists of Pt top and bottom electrode and bilayer TaO x switching layer with insulating Ta2O5-x layer near TE and TaO2-x near BE as can be seen in the cross-section TEM image presented in Figure 10c. They fabricated the devices with different sizes from 50 × 50 μm2 to 30 × 30 nm2. All size devices have shown self-compliance bipolar switching with small set/rest voltage of -1.0/2.0 V. The switching current of 50 × 50 μm2 device was >200 μA and for 30 × 30 nm2 device was approximately 40 μA, respectively (Figure 10d). From the I-V switching curves, this is a symmetric current profile when the device is in the LRS, but it is an asymmetric current profile for the HRS. This property was exploited to realize RRAM devices in crossbar architecture without any selection device with anti-serial connection. They were also able to achieve the highest ever reported endurance value of 1012 for this system at 30 × 30 μm2 cell size for base layer oxidation of 3%. Data retention of >10 years at 85°C was also reported. To eliminate the need for a discrete switch element such as a diode or transistor, they connected two Pt/Ta2O5-x/TaO2-x/Pt cells antiserially by external contacts and this concept was also reported by Linn et al. .
Wei et al.  explored first the prospective application of TaO x -based RRAM devices. The memory stack consisted of Pt top and bottom electrodes and a non-stoichiometric switching layer of TaO x . The first layer near the TE is close to insulating Ta2O5-x phase, while the other layer is close to TaO2-x phase which is conducting. The memory device with a size of 0.5 × 0.5 μm2 in 1T1R configuration showed bipolar switching characteristics under an operation current of approximately 170 μA. The device shows excellent P/E endurance of >109 cycles. The data retention property could be improved under low-current operation by controlling the size of the conductive filament as well as percolation paths, while the density of oxygen vacancy is kept high enough. It is true that the conducting filament size can be scaled down by reducing both the forming current and formation. A forming voltage can be decreased with a thinner switching layer. However, the thinnest layer is not required because this will have lower HRS. Figure 11a shows a pulsed R-V curve of the two-step forming to control the formation of conducting filament size in Ir/Ta2O5-δ/TaO x resistive memory stack . At first (or step 1), a positive pulse that has the same polarity for the RESET is applied to generate oxygen vacancies in the Ta2O5-δ layer, as shown in Figure 11b. The resistance of the switching material decreases drastically from the initial resistance state (IRS: approximately 15 MΩ); however, it stays at HRS (200 to 500 kΩ), as shown in red line. Second (or step 2), a negative pulse is applied to create the conducting filament at LRS (approximately 20 kΩ). A negative forming voltage, which determines the conducting filament size, is reduced from 2.6 to 1.1 V with a 100-ns pulse width. However, a conventional negative forming voltage (-2.6 V) is shown in blue line, this changes HRS (approximately 15 MΩ) to LRS (approximately 10 kΩ). Quantum-size effect and percolation models of RESET for different switching materials have been explained to understand the conducting filaments [135, 136]. Another method of reducing CC can be used to control the conducting filament size, which can be achieved by adjusting the resistivity of the bulk TaO x layer. The resistivity can reduce the forming current by controlling the oxygen content of TaO x . In this case, the conducting filament size becomes smaller and oxygen vacancy becomes larger when the oxygen content is increased. The observed switching is due to the change of barrier height on the application of voltage. When positive voltage was applied, O2- ions migrate from bulk and accumulate near the TE. Oxidation reaction increases the barrier height and device comes to the HRS. On the other hand, when negative voltage was applied on the TE, O2- ions move away from TE and reduction reaction lowers the barrier height which brings the device into LRS. Hence, the barrier height change on the application of bias voltage due to redox reaction is responsible for the observed switching. Several kinds of electrode materials were examined and found that the materials having high work function show stable resistance switching behavior. The significant improvement in the retention characteristics at 150°C under the small current operation of 80 μA by two-step forming are obtained as compared to single-step forming. Two-step electroforming process is very critical to have controlled conducting filament diameter as well as the RRAM could be operated as low current at 80 μA. The W/TiO x /TaO x /W memory device showed good bipolar resistive switching characteristics with different CCs from 10 to 100 μA (Figure 12). The low-resistance state decreases with increasing CCs from 10 to 100 μA (Figure 12a,b), which will be useful for multi-level data storage applications. As the filament diameter increases with higher CCs, the low-resistance state decreases, and the value of RESET voltage increases. The RESET current can be scaled down to 23 μA at a low CC of 10 μA. Figure 13a,b shows the device-to-device uniformity of LRS/HRS and SET/RESET voltage, respectively. The cumulative probability distribution is small for both LRS/HRS as well as set/reset voltage. The resistance ratio of HRS/LRS is >100, and the device can be operated below ±5 V. The device can be switched more than 104 AC cycles with stable LRS, as shown in Figure 14a. The device has also shown good read endurance of >105 times at a read voltage of 0.2 V (Figure 14b). No read disturbance is observed during whole course of testing. Figure 15a shows the data retention characteristics at high temperature of 85°C under small switching current of 80 μA. Good data retention of both the states is obtained for >104 s with memory margin of >102. Considering the obtained nano-filament diameter of approximately 3 nm , a high density of approximately 100 Tbit/in2 is obtained. This device has shown also data retention of few minutes at a very low current of only 10 μA, as shown in Figure 15b. The resistance ratio is gradually decreased with elapsed time. Table 2 compares data published in literature for TaO x -based resistive switching memories [16, 31, 41, 83, 85, 109, 120] and other materials [137–140]. It is found that TaO x -based resistive switching devices is one of the comparative materials with other switching materials; however, the low-current operation is published a few papers. This suggests that the TaO x -based RRAM devices with low-current operation are a big challenging for real application, which needs to be studied in future.
It is reviewed that TaO x -based bipolar resistive switching memory could be operated at a low current of 80 μA [41, 109], which has prospective of RRAM applications in the future. Further, TaO x is a simple and useful material because of two stable phases of TaO2 and Ta2O5, as compared to other reported materials. Long program/erase endurance of >1010 and 10 years data retention are also reported in published literature [31, 110]. So far, bilayered TaO x with inert electrodes (Pt and/or Ir) or single-layer TaO x with semi-reactive electrodes (W and Ti/W or Ta/Pt) are reported; however, conducting nano-filament formation/rupture is controlled by oxygen ion migration through bilayered or interfacial layer design under external bias. Further, high-density memory with a small size of 30 × 30 nm2 could be designed using crossbar architecture . It is found that the memory performance is becoming worst at operation current of 10 μA. Therefore, it is very challenging to reduce the operation current (few microampere) of the RRAM devices. So far, good performance of TaO x -based resistive switching memory devices is investigated, as compared to other switching materials in different RRAMs. This topical review shows good prospective; however, it needs to overcome the challenges for future production of the TaO x -based nanoscale RRAM application.
Hutchby J, Garner M: Assessment of the potential & maturity of selected emerging research memory technologies workshop & ERD/ERM working group meeting (April 6–7, 2010). 2010. http://www.itrs.net/Links/2010ITRS/2010Update/ToPost/ERD_ERM_2010FINALReportMemoryAssessment_ITRS.pdf
Keeney SN: A 130 nm generation high density Etox™ flash memory technology. In Tech Dig - Int Electron Devices Meet2001. Washington, DC; 2001:2.5.1–2.5.4.
Ray SK, Maikap S, Banerjee W, Das S: Nanocrystals for silicon based light emitting and memory devices. J Phys D Appl Phys 2013, 46: 153001. 10.1088/0022-3727/46/15/153001
Kato Y, Yamada T, Shimada Y: 0.18-μm nondestructive readout FeRAM using charge compensation technique. IEEE Trans Electron Devices 2005, 52: 2616. 10.1109/TED.2005.859688
Setter N, Damjanovic D, Eng L, Fox G, Gevorgian S, Hong S, Kingon A, Kohlstedt H, Park NY, Stephenson GB, Stolitchnov I, Taganstev AK, Taylor DV, Yamada T, Streiffer S: Ferroelectric thin films: review of materials, properties, and applications. J Appl Phys 2006, 100: 051606. 10.1063/1.2336999
Durlam M, Chung Y, DeHerrera M, Engel BN, Grynkewich G, Martino B, Nguyen B, Salter J, Shah P, Slaughter JM: MRAM memory for embedded and stand alone systems. In Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Integrated Circuit Design and Technology. Austin; 2007:1–4.
Sekikawa M, Kiyoyama K, Hasegawa H, Miura K, Fukushima T, Ikeda S, Tanaka T, Ohno H, Koyanagi M: A novel SPRAM (SPin-transfer torque RAM)-based reconfigurable logic block for 3D-stacked reconfigurable spin processor. In Tech Dig - Int Electron Devices Meet. San Francisco, CA; 2008:1–3.
Raoux S, Burr GW, Breitwisch MJ, Rettner CT, Chen YC, Shelby RM, Salinga M, Krebs D, Chen SH, Lung HL, Lam CH: Phase-change random access memory: a scalable technology. IBM J Res Dev 2008, 52: 465.
Beck A, Bednorz JG, Gerber C, Rossel C, Widmer D: Reproducible switching effect in thin oxide films for memory applications. Appl Phys Lett 2000, 77: 139. 10.1063/1.126902
Baek IG, Lee MS, Seo S, Lee MJ, Seo DH, Suh DS, Park JC, Park SO, Kim HS, Yoo IK, Chung UI, Moon JT: Highly scalable non-volatile resistive memory using simple binary oxide driven by asymmetric unipolar voltage pulses. In Tech Dig - Int Electron Devices Meet. San Francisco, CA; 2004:587–590.
Kozicki MN, Gopalan C, Balakrishnan M, Park M, Mitkova M: Non-volatile memory based on solid electrolytes. In Proceedings 2004 Non-Volatile Memory Technology Symposium. Orlando; 2004:10–17.
Chen A, Haddad S, Wu YC, Fang TN, Lan Z, Avanzino S, Pangrle S, Buynoski M, Rathor M, Cai W, Tripsas N, Bill C, VanBuskirk M, Taguchi M: Non-volatile resistive switching for advanced memory applications. In Tech Dig - Int Electron Devices Meet. Washington, DC; 2005:746–749.
Liu CY, Wu PH, Wang A, Jang WY, Young JC, Chiu KY, Tseng TY: Bistable resistive switching of a sputter-deposited Cr-doped SrZrO3 memory film. IEEE Electron Device Lett 2005, 26: 351.
Waser R, Aono M: Nanoionics-based resistive switching memories. Nat Mater 2007, 6: 833. 10.1038/nmat2023
Sawa A: Resistive switching in transition metal oxides. Mater Today 2008, 11: 28.
Lee HY, Chen PS, Wu TY, Chen YS, Wang CC, Tzeng PJ, Lin CH, Chen F, Lien CH, Tsai MJ: Low power and high speed bipolar switching with a thin reactive Ti buffer layer in robust HfO2 based RRAM. In Tech Dig - Int Electron Devices Meet. San Francisco, CA; 2008:1–4.
Waser R, Dittmann R, Staikov G, Szot K: Redox-based resistive switching memories - nanoionic mechanisms, prospects, and challenges. Adv Mater 2009, 21: 2632. 10.1002/adma.200900375
Akinaga H, Shima H: Resistive random access memory (ReRAM) based on metal oxides. Proc IEEE 2010, 98: 2237.
Pan F, Chen C, Wang ZS, Yang YC, Yang J, Zeng F: Nonvolatile resistive switching memories-characteristics, mechanisms and challenges. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2010, 20: 1.
Park J, Lee W, Choe M, Jung S, Son M, Kim S, Park S, Shin J, Lee D, Siddik M, Woo J, Choi G, Cha E, Lee T, Hwang H: Quantized conductive filament formed by limited Cu source in sub-5nm era. In Tech Dig - Int Electron Devices Meet. Washington, DC; 2011:3.7.1–3.7.4.
Torrezan AC, Strachan JP, Medeiros-Ribeiro G, Williams RS: Sub-nanosecond switching of a tantalum oxide memristor. Nanotechnology 2011, 22: 485203. 10.1088/0957-4484/22/48/485203
Rahaman SZ, Maikap S, Tien TC, Lee HY, Chen WS, Chen FT, Kao MJ, Tsai MJ: Excellent resistive memory characteristics and switching mechanism using a Ti nanolayer at the Cu/TaO x interface. Nanoscale Res Lett 2012, 7: 345. 10.1186/1556-276X-7-345
Wong HSP, Lee HY, Yu S, Chen YS, Wu Y, Chen PS, Lee B, Chen FT, Tsai MJ: Metal-oxide RRAM. Proc IEEE 1951, 2012: 100.
Liu Q, Sun J, Lv H, Long S, Yin K, Wan N, Li Y, Sun L, Liu M: Resistive switching: real-time observation on dynamic growth/dissolution of conductive filaments in oxide-electrolyte-based RERAM. Adv Mater 2012, 24: 1774. 10.1002/adma.201290080
Yang JJ, Strukov DB, Stewart DR: Memristive devices for computing. Nat Nanotechnol 2013, 8: 13.
International technology roadmap for semiconductors 2011 edition emerging research devices. http://www.itrs.net/Links/2011itrs/2011Tables/ERD_2011Tables.xlsx
Burr GW, Kurdi BN, Scott JC, Lam CH, Gopalakrishnan K, Shenoy RS: Overview of candidate device technologies for storage-class memory. IBM J Res Dev 2008, 52: 449.
Ho C-H, Hsu C-L, Chen C-C, Liu J-T, Wu C-S, Huang C-C, Hu C, Fu-Liang Y: 9 nm half-pitch functional resistive memory cell with <1 μA programming current using thermally oxidized sub-stoichiometric WO x film. In Tech Dig - Int Electron Devices Meet. San Francisco, CA; 2010:19.1.1–19.1.4.
Lee HY, Chen YS, Chen PS, Gu PY, Hsu YY, Wang SM, Liu WH, Tsai CH, Sheu SS, Chiang PC, Lin WP, Lin CH, Chen WS, Chen FT, Lien CH, Tsai MJ: Evidence and solution of over-RESET problem for HfOx based resistive memory with sub-ns switching speed and high endurance. In Tech Dig - Int Electron Devices Meet. San Francisco, CA; 2010:19.7.1–19.7.4.
Kim S, Biju KP, Jo M, Jung S, Park J, Lee J, Lee W, Shin J, Park S, Hwang H: Effect of scaling WO x -based RRAMs on their resistive switching characteristics. IEEE Electron Device Lett 2011, 32: 671.
Lee M-J, Lee CB, Lee D, Lee SR, Chang M, Hur JH, Kim Y-B, Kim C-J, Seo DH, Seo S, Chung UI, Yoo I-K, Kim K: A fast, high-endurance and scalable non-volatile memory device made from asymmetric Ta2O5-x/TaO2-x bilayer structures. Nat Mater 2011, 10: 625. 10.1038/nmat3070
Hickmott TW: Low-frequency negative resistance in thin anodic oxide films. J Appl Phys 1962, 33: 2669. 10.1063/1.1702530
Nielsen PH, Bashara NM: The reversible voltage-induced initial resistance in the negative resistance sandwich structure. IEEE Trans Electron Devices 1964, 11: 243.
Gibbons JF, Beadle WE: Switching properties of thin NiO films. Solid-State Electron 1964, 7: 785. 10.1016/0038-1101(64)90131-5
Simmons JG, Verderber RR: New conduction and reversible memory phenomena in thin insulating films. Proc R Soc London, Ser A 1967, 301: 77. 10.1098/rspa.1967.0191
Chua LO: Memristors-the missing circuit element. IEEE Trans Circuit Theory 1971, CT-18: 507.
Tsuruoka T, Terabe K, Hasegawa T, Aono M: Forming and switching mechanisms of a cation-migration-based oxide resistive memory. Nanotechnology 2010, 21: 425205. 10.1088/0957-4484/21/42/425205
Chen YS, Lee HY, Chen PS, Wu TY, Wang CC, Tzeng PJ, Chen F, Tsai MJ, Lien C: An ultrathin forming-free HfO x resistance memory with excellent electrical performance. IEEE Electron Device Lett 2010, 31: 1473.
Qinan M, Zhenguo J, Junhua X: Realization of forming-free ZnO-based resistive switching memory by controlling film thickness. J Phys D Appl Phys 2010, 43: 395104. 10.1088/0022-3727/43/39/395104
Stille S, Lenser C, Dittmann R, Koehl A, Krug I, Muenstermann R, Perlich J, Schneider CM, Klemradt U, Waser R: Detection of filament formation in forming-free resistive switching SrTiO3 devices with Ti top electrodes. Appl Phys Lett 2012, 100: 223503. 10.1063/1.4724108
Prakash A, Maikap S, Chiu H-C, Tien T-C, Lai C-S: Enhanced resistive switching memory characteristics and mechanism using a Ti nanolayer at the W/TaO x interface. Nanoscale Res Lett 2013, 8: 288. 10.1186/1556-276X-8-288
Akinaga H, Shima H, Takano F, Inoue IH, Takagi H: Resistive switching effect in metal/insulator/metal heterostructures and its application for non-volatile memory. IEEJ T Electr 2007, 2: 453.
Szot K, Speier W, Bihlmayer G, Waser R: Switching the electrical resistance of individual dislocations in single-crystalline SrTiO3. Nat Mater 2006, 5: 312. 10.1038/nmat1614
Kwon D-H, Kim KM, Jang JH, Jeon JM, Lee MH, Kim GH, Li X-S, Park G-S, Lee B, Han S, Kim M, Hwang CS: Atomic structure of conducting nanofilaments in TiO2 resistive switching memory. Nat Nanotechnol 2010, 5: 148. 10.1038/nnano.2009.456
Xu Z, Bando Y, Wang W, Bai X, Golberg D: Real-time in situ HRTEM-resolved resistance switching of Ag2S nanoscale ionic conductor. ACS Nano 2010, 4: 2515. 10.1021/nn100483a
Rahaman SZ, Maikap S, Chen WS, Lee HY, Chen FT, Tien TC, Tsai MJ: Impact of TaO x nanolayer at the GeSe x /W interface on resistive switching memory performance and investigation of Cu nanofilament. J Appl Phys 2012, 111: 063710. 10.1063/1.3696972
Yang Y, Gao P, Gaba S, Chang T, Pan X, Lu W: Observation of conducting filament growth in nanoscale resistive memories. Nat Commun 2012, 3: 732.
Rahaman SZ, Maikap S, Chen WS, Lee HY, Chen FT, Kao MJ, Tsai MJ: Repeatable unipolar/bipolar resistive memory characteristics and switching mechanism using a Cu nanofilament in a GeO x film. Appl Phys Lett 2012, 101: 073106. 10.1063/1.4745783
Jeong HY, Lee JY, Ryu M-K, Choi S-Y: Bipolar resistive switching in amorphous titanium oxide thin film. Phys Status Solidi RRL 2010, 4: 28. 10.1002/pssr.200903383
Tsui S, Baikalov A, Cmaidalka J, Sun YY, Wang YQ, Xue YY, Chu CW, Chen L, Jacobson AJ: Field-induced resistive switching in metal-oxide interfaces. Appl Phys Lett 2004, 85: 317. 10.1063/1.1768305
Jeon SH, Park BH, Lee J, Lee B, Han S: First-principles modeling of resistance switching in perovskite oxide material. Appl Phys Lett 2006, 89: 042904. 10.1063/1.2234840
Seong D-j, Jo M, Lee D, Hwang H: HPHA effect on reversible resistive switching of P/Nb -doped SrTiO3 Schottky junction for nonvolatile memory application. Electrochem Solid-State Lett 2007, 10: H168. 10.1149/1.2718396
Nian YB, Strozier J, Wu NJ, Chen X, Ignatiev A: Evidence for an oxygen diffusion model for the electric pulse induced resistance change effect in transition-metal oxides. Phys Rev Lett 2007, 98: 146403.
Sawa A, Fujii T, Kawasaki M, Tokura Y: Hysteretic current–voltage characteristics and resistance switching at a rectifying Ti/Pr0.7Ca0.3MnO3 interface. Appl Phys Lett 2004, 85: 4073. 10.1063/1.1812580
Fujii T, Kawasaki M, Sawa A, Akoh H, Kawazoe Y, Tokura Y: Hysteretic current–voltage characteristics and resistance switching at an epitaxial oxide Schottky junction SrRuO3/SrTi0.99Nb0.01O3. Appl Phys Lett 2005, 86: 012107. 10.1063/1.1845598
Rozenberg MJ, Inoue IH, Sánchez MJ: Nonvolatile memory with multilevel switching: a basic model. Phys Rev Lett 2004, 92: 178302.
Fors R, Khartsev SI, Grishin AM: Giant resistance switching in metal-insulator-manganite junctions: evidence for Mott transition. Phys Rev B 2005, 71: 045305.
Oka T, Nagaosa N: Interfaces of correlated electron systems: proposed mechanism for colossal electroresistance. Phys Rev Lett 2005, 95: 266403.
Kund M, Beitel G, Pinnow CU, Röhr T, Schumann J, Symanczyk R, Ufert KD, Müller G: Conductive bridging RAM (CBRAM): an emerging non-volatile memory technology scalable to sub 20 nm. In Tech Dig - Int Electron Devices Meet. Washington, DC; 2005:754–757.
Rahaman SZ, Maikap S, Das A, Prakash A, Wu YH, Lai CS, Tien TC, Chen WS, Lee HY, Chen FT, Tsai MJ, Chang LB: Enhanced nanoscale resistive switching memory characteristics and switching mechanism using high-Ge-content Ge0.5Se0.5 solid electrolyte. Nanoscale Res Lett 2012, 7: 614. 10.1186/1556-276X-7-614
Kozicki MN, Balakrishnan M, Gopalan C, Ratnakumar C, Mitkova M: Programmable metallization cell memory based on Ag-Ge-S and Cu-Ge-S solid electrolytes. In 2005 Non-Volatile Memory Technology Symposium. Dallas, TX; 2005:83.
Jameson JR, Gilbert N, Koushan F, Saenz J, Wang J, Hollmer S, Kozicki M, Derhacobian N: Quantized conductance in Ag/GeS2/W conductive-bridge memory cells. IEEE Electron Device Lett 2012, 33: 257.
Kaeriyama S, Sakamoto T, Sunamura H, Mizuno M, Kawaura H, Hasegawa T, Terabe K, Nakayama T, Aono M: A nonvolatile programmable solid-electrolyte nanometer switch. IEEE J Solid-State Circuits 2005, 40: 168.
Terabe K, Hasegawa T, Nakayama T, Aono M: Quantized conductance atomic switch. Nature 2005, 433: 47. 10.1038/nature03190
Sakamoto T, Lister K, Banno N, Hasegawa T, Terabe K, Aono M: Electronic transport in Ta2O5 resistive switch. Appl Phys Lett 2007, 91: 092110. 10.1063/1.2777170
Maikap S, Rahaman SZ, Wu TY, Chen FT, Kao MJ, Tsai MJ: Low current (5 pA) resistive switching memory using high-κ Ta2O5 solid electrolyte. In The 39th European Solid-State Device Research Conference and the 35th European Solid-state Circuits Conference (ESSDERC/ESSCIRC). Athens; 2009:217.
Schindler C, Thermadam SCP, Waser R, Kozicki MN: Bipolar and unipolar resistive switching in Cu-doped SiO2. IEEE Trans Electron Devices 2007, 54: 2762.
Hsiung CP, Liao HW, Gan JY, Wu TB, Hwang JC, Chen F, Tsai MJ: Formation and instability of silver nanofilament in Ag-based programmable metallization cells. ACS Nano 2010, 4: 5414. 10.1021/nn1010667
Liu Q, Long S, Lv H, Wang W, Niu J, Huo Z, Chen J, Liu M: Controllable growth of nanoscale conductive filaments in solid-electrolyte-based ReRAM by using a metal nanocrystal covered bottom electrode. ACS Nano 2010, 4: 6162. 10.1021/nn1017582
Nagata T, Haemori M, Yamashita Y, Yoshikawa H, Iwashita Y, Kobayashi K, Chikyow T: Bias application hard X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy study of forming process of Cu/HfO2/Pt resistive random access memory structure. Appl Phys Lett 2011, 99: 223517. 10.1063/1.3664781
Yoon J, Choi H, Lee D, Park JB, Lee J, Seong DJ, Ju Y, Chang M, Jung S, Hwang H: Excellent switching uniformity of Cu-doped MoO x /GdO x bilayer for nonvolatile memory applications. IEEE Electron Device Lett 2009, 30: 457.
Tada M, Sakamoto T, Banno N, Aono M, Hada H, Kasai N: Nonvolatile crossbar switch using TiO x /TaSiO y solid electrolyte. IEEE Trans Electron Devices 1987, 2010: 57.
Goux L, Opsomer K, Degraeve R, Muller R, Detavernier C, Wouters DJ, Jurczak M, Altimime L, Kittl JA: Influence of the Cu-Te composition and microstructure on the resistive switching of Cu-Te/Al2O3/Si cells. Appl Phys Lett 2011, 99: 053502. 10.1063/1.3621835
Kim DC, Seo S, Ahn SE, Suh DS, Lee MJ, Park BH, Yoo IK, Baek IG, Kim HJ, Yim EK, Lee JE, Park SO, Kim HS, Chung UI, Moon JT, Ryu BI: Electrical observations of filamentary conductions for the resistive memory switching in NiO films. Appl Phys Lett 2006, 88: 202102. 10.1063/1.2204649
Ielmini D, Nardi F, Cagli C: Physical models of size-dependent nanofilament formation and rupture in NiO resistive switching memories. Nanotechnology 2011, 22: 254022. 10.1088/0957-4484/22/25/254022
Jousseaume V, Fantini A, Nodin JF, Guedj C, Persico A, Buckley J, Tirano S, Lorenzi P, Vignon R, Feldis H, Minoret S, Grampeix H, Roule A, Favier S, Martinez E, Calka P, Rochat N, Auvert G, Barnes JP, Gonon P, Vallée C, Perniola L, De Salvo B: Comparative study of non-polar switching behaviors of NiO- and HfO2-based oxide resistive-RAMs. Solid-State Electron 2011, 58: 62. 10.1016/j.sse.2010.11.023
Yang JJ, Pickett MD, Li X, Ohlberg DAA, Stewart DR, Williams RS: Memristive switching mechanism for metal/oxide/metal nanodevices. Nat Nanotechnol 2008, 3: 429. 10.1038/nnano.2008.160
Hermes C, Bruchhaus R, Waser R: Forming-free TiO2-based resistive switching devices on CMOS-compatible W-plugs. IEEE Electron Device Lett 2011, 32: 1588.
Park J, Biju KP, Jung S, Lee W, Lee J, Kim S, Park S, Shin J, Hwang H: Multibit operation of TiO x -based ReRAM by Schottky barrier height engineering. IEEE Electron Device Lett 2011, 32: 476.
Cheng CH, Chen PC, Wu YH, Yeh FS, Chin A: Long-endurance nanocrystal TiO2 resistive memory using a TaON buffer layer. IEEE Electron Device Lett 2011, 32: 1749.
Park WY, Kim GH, Seok JY, Kim KM, Song SJ, Lee MH, Hwang CS: A Pt/TiO2/Ti Schottky-type selection diode for alleviating the sneak current in resistance switching memory arrays. Nanotechnology 2010, 21: 195201. 10.1088/0957-4484/21/19/195201
Lee H-Y, Chen P-S, Wang C-C, Maikap S, Tzeng P-J, Lin C-H, Lee L-S, Tsai M-J: Low-power switching of nonvolatile resistive memory using hafnium oxide. Jpn J Appl Phys, Part 1 2007, 46: 2175. 10.1143/JJAP.46.2175
Lee J, Bourim EM, Lee W, Park J, Jo M, Jung S, Shin J, Hwang H: Effect of ZrO x /HfO x bilayer structure on switching uniformity and reliability in nonvolatile memory applications. Appl Phys Lett 2010, 97: 172105. 10.1063/1.3491803
Walczyk D, Walczyk C, Schroeder T, Bertaud T, Sowinska M, Lukosius M, Fraschke M, Tillack B, Wenger C: Resistive switching characteristics of CMOS embedded HfO2-based 1T1R cells. Microelectron Eng 2011, 88: 1133. 10.1016/j.mee.2011.03.123
Chen YY, Goux L, Clima S, Govoreanu B, Degraeve R, Kar GS, Fantini A, Groeseneken G, Wouters DJ, Jurczak M: Endurance/retention trade-off on HfO2/metal cap 1T1R bipolar RRAM. IEEE Trans Electron Devices 2013, 60: 1114.
Yu S, Chen H-Y, Gao B, Kang J, Wong HSP: HfO x -based vertical resistive switching random access memory suitable for bit-cost-effective three-dimensional cross-point architecture. ACS Nano 2013, 7: 2320. 10.1021/nn305510u
Chen A, Haddad S, Wu YC, Fang TN, Kaza S, Lan Z: Erasing characteristics of Cu2O metal-insulator-metal resistive switching memory. Appl Phys Lett 2008, 92: 013503. 10.1063/1.2828864
Sun X, Li G, Chen L, Shi Z, Zhang W: Bipolar resistance switching characteristics with opposite polarity of Au/SrTiO3/Ti memory cells. Nanoscale Res Lett 2011, 6: 1.
Lin CY, Wu CY, Wu CYC-Y, Lee TC, Yang FL, Hu C, Tseng TY: Effect of top electrode material on resistive switching properties of ZrO2 film memory devices. IEEE Electron Device Lett 2007, 28: 366.
Liu Q, Long S, Wang W, Zuo Q, Zhang S, Chen J, Liu M: Improvement of resistive switching properties in ZrO2-based ReRAM with implanted Ti ions. IEEE Electron Device Lett 2009, 30: 1335.
Wang S-Y, Lee D-Y, Tseng T-Y, Lin C-Y: Effects of Ti top electrode thickness on the resistive switching behaviors of rf-sputtered ZrO2 memory films. Appl Phys Lett 2009, 95: 112904. 10.1063/1.3231872
Wang SY, Lee DY, Huang TY, Wu JW, Tseng TY: Controllable oxygen vacancies to enhance resistive switching performance in a ZrO2-based RRAM with embedded Mo layer. Nanotechnology 2010, 21: 495201. 10.1088/0957-4484/21/49/495201
Chien WC, Chen YC, Lai EK, Yao YD, Lin P, Horng SF, Gong J, Chou TH, Lin HM, Chang MN, Shih YH, Hsieh KY, Liu R, Chih-Yuan L: Unipolar switching behaviors of RTO WO x RRAM. IEEE Electron Device Lett 2010, 31: 126.
Lin CY, Wu CY, Hu C, Tseng TY: Bistable resistive switching in Al2O3 memory thin films. J Electrochem Soc 2007, 154: G189. 10.1149/1.2750450
Banerjee W, Rahaman SZ, Prakash A, Maikap S: High-κ Al2O3/WO x bilayer dielectrics for low-power resistive switching memory applications. Jpn J Appl Phys 2011, 50: 10PH01. 10.1143/JJAP.50.10PH01
Wu Y, Yu S, Lee B, Wong HSP: Low-power TiN/Al2O3/Pt resistive switching device with sub-20 μA switching current and gradual resistance modulation. J Appl Phys 2011, 110: 094104. 10.1063/1.3657938
Banerjee W, Maikap S, Rahaman SZ, Prakash A, Tien TC, Li WC, Yang JR: Improved resistive switching memory characteristics using core-shell IrO x nano-dots in Al2O3/WO x bilayer structure. J Electrochem Soc 2012, 159: H177. 10.1149/2.067202jes
Peng HY, Li GP, Ye JY, Wei ZP, Zhang Z, Wang DD, Xing GZ, Wu T: Electrode dependence of resistive switching in Mn-doped ZnO: filamentary versus interfacial mechanisms. Appl Phys Lett 2010, 96: 192113. 10.1063/1.3428365
Andy S, Wendi Z, Julia Q, Han-Jen Y, Shuyi C, Zetian M, Ishiang S: Highly stable resistive switching on monocrystalline ZnO. Nanotechnology 2010, 21: 125201. 10.1088/0957-4484/21/12/125201
Chiu FC, Li PW, Chang WY: Reliability characteristics and conduction mechanisms in resistive switching memory devices using ZnO thin films. Nanoscale Res Lett 2012, 7: 1. 10.1186/1556-276X-7-1
Peng CN, Wang CW, Chan TC, Chang WY, Wang YC, Tsai HW, Wu WW, Chen LJ, Chueh YL: Resistive switching of Au/ZnO/Au resistive memory: an in situ observation of conductive bridge formation. Nanoscale Res Lett 2012, 7: 1. 10.1186/1556-276X-7-1
Yao J, Zhong L, Natelson D, Tour JM: Intrinsic resistive switching and memory effects in silicon oxide. Appl Phys A 2011, 102: 835. 10.1007/s00339-011-6267-6
Mehonic A, Cueff S, Wojdak M, Hudziak S, Jambois O, Labbe C, Garrido B, Rizk R, Kenyon AJ: Resistive switching in silicon suboxide films. J Appl Phys 2012, 111: 074507. 10.1063/1.3701581
Cao X, Li X, Gao X, Yu W, Liu X, Zhang Y, Chen L, Cheng X: Forming-free colossal resistive switching effect in rare-earth-oxide Gd2O3 films for memristor applications. J Appl Phys 2009, 106: 073723. 10.1063/1.3236573
Jana D, Maikap S, Tien TC, Lee HY, Chen WS, Chen FT, Kao MJ, Tsai MJ: Formation-polarity-dependent improved resistive switching memory performance using IrO x /GdO x /WO x /W structure. Jpn J Appl Phys 2012, 51: 04DD17.
Seong DJ, Hassan M, Choi H, Lee J, Yoon J, Park JB, Lee W, Oh MS, Hwang H: Resistive-switching characteristics of Al/Pr0.7Ca0.3MnO3 for nonvolatile memory applications. IEEE Electron Device Lett 2009, 30: 919.
Cheng CH, Chin A, Yeh FS: Ultralow switching energy Ni/GeO x /HfON/TaN RRAM. IEEE Electron Device Lett 2011, 32: 366.
Prakash A, Maikap S, Rahaman S, Majumdar S, Manna S, Ray S: Resistive switching memory characteristics of Ge/GeO x nanowires and evidence of oxygen ion migration. Nanoscale Res Lett 2013, 8: 220. 10.1186/1556-276X-8-220
Wei Z, Kanzawa Y, Arita K, Katoh Y, Kawai K, Muraoka S, Mitani S, Fujii S, Katayama K, Iijima M, Mikawa T, Ninomiya T, Miyanaga R, Kawashima Y, Tsuji K, Himeno A, Okada T, Azuma R, Shimakawa K, Sugaya H, Takagi T, Yasuhara R, Khoriba G, Kumigashira H, Oshima M: Highly reliable TaO x ReRAM and direct evidence of redox reaction mechanism. In Tech Dig - Int Electron Devices Meet. San Francisco, CA; 2008:1–4.
Yang JJ, Zhang MX, Strachan JP, Miao F, Pickett MD, Kelley RD, Medeiros-Ribeiro G, Williams RS: High switching endurance in TaO x memristive devices. Appl Phys Lett 2010, 97: 232102. 10.1063/1.3524521
Zhang L, Huang R, Zhu M, Qin S, Kuang Y, Gao D, Shi C, Wang Y: Unipolar TaO x -based resistive change memory realized with electrode engineering. IEEE Electron Device Lett 2010, 31: 966.
Gu T, Tada T, Watanabe S: Conductive path formation in the Ta2O5 atomic switch: first-principles analyses. ACS Nano 2010, 4: 6477. 10.1021/nn101410s
Wei Z, Takagi T, Kanzawa Y, Katoh Y, Ninomiya T, Kawai K, Muraoka S, Mitani S, Katayama K, Fujii S, Miyanaga R, Kawashima Y, Mikawa T, Shimakawa K, Aono K: Demonstration of high-density ReRAM ensuring 10-year retention at 85°C based on a newly developed reliability model. In Tech Dig - Int Electron Devices Meet. Washington, DC; 2011:31.4.1–31.4.4.
Prakash A, Maikap S, Lai CS, Tien TC, Chen WS, Lee HY, Chen FT, Kao MJ, Tsai MJ: Bipolar resistive switching memory using bilayer TaO x /WO x films. Solid-State Electron 2012, 77: 35.
Chen C, Song C, Yang J, Zeng F, Pan F: Oxygen migration induced resistive switching effect and its thermal stability in W/TaO x /Pt structure. Appl Phys Lett 2012, 100: 253509. 10.1063/1.4730601
Prakash A, Maikap S, Lai CS, Lee HY, Chen WS, Chen FT, Kao MJ, Tsai MJ: Improvement of uniformity of resistive switching parameters by selecting the electroformation polarity in IrO x /TaO x /WO x /W structure. Jpn J Appl Phys, Part 1 2012, 51: 04DD06.
Yang Y, Sheridan P, Lu W: Complementary resistive switching in tantalum oxide-based resistive memory devices. Appl Phys Lett 2012, 100: 203112. 10.1063/1.4719198
Bishop SM, Bakhru H, Capulong JO, Cady NC: Influence of the SET current on the resistive switching properties of tantalum oxide created by oxygen implantation. Appl Phys Lett 2012, 100: 142111. 10.1063/1.3701154
Marinella MJ, Dalton SM, Mickel PR, Dodd PED, Shaneyfelt MR, Bielejec E, Vizkelethy G, Kotula PG: Initial assessment of the effects of radiation on the electrical characteristics of TaO x memristive memories. IEEE Trans Nucl Sci 2012, 59: 2987.
Ninomiya T, Wei Z, Muraoka S, Yasuhara R, Katayama K, Takagi T: Conductive filament scaling of TaO x bipolar ReRAM for improving data retention under low operation current. IEEE Trans Electron Devices 2013, 60: 1384.
Diokh T, Le-Roux E, Jeannot S, Cagli C, Jousseaume V, Nodin J-F, Gros-Jean M, Gaumer C, Mellier M, Cluzel J, Carabasse C, Candelier P, De Salvo B: Study of resistive random access memory based on TiN/TaO x /TiN integrated into a 65 nm advanced complementary metal oxide semiconductor technology. Thin Solid Films 2013, 533: 24.
Mickel PR, Lohn AJ, Choi BJ, Yang JJ, Zhang M-X, Marinella MJ, James CD, Williams RS: A physical model of switching dynamics in tantalum oxide memristive devices. Appl Phys Lett 2013, 102: 223502. 10.1063/1.4809530
Schmelzer S, Linn E, Bottger U, Waser R: Uniform complementary resistive switching in tantalum oxide using current sweeps. IEEE Electron Device Lett 2013, 34: 114.
Lee D, Woo J, Cha E, Kim S, Lee W, Park S, Hwang H: Interface engineering for low power and uniform resistive switching in bi-layer structural filament type ReRAM. Microelectron Eng 2013, 109: 385.
Kim S, Kim S-J, Kim KM, Lee SR, Chang M, Cho E, Kim Y-B, Kim CJ, In Chung U: Physical electro-thermal model of resistive switching in bi-layered resistance-change memory. Sci Rep 2013, 3: 1.
Zhuo VYQ, Jiang Y, Li MH, Chua EK, Zhang Z, Pan JS, Zhao R, Shi LP, Chong TC, Robertson J: Band alignment between Ta2O5 and metals for resistive random access memory electrodes engineering. Appl Phys Lett 2013, 102: 062106. 10.1063/1.4792274
Elliman RG, Saleh MS, Kim TH, Venkatachalam DK, Belay K, Ruffell S, Kurunczi P, England J: Application of ion-implantation for improved non-volatile resistive random access memory (ReRAM). Nucl Instrum Methods Phys Res, Sect B 2013, 307: 98.
Yang Y, Choi S, Lu W: Oxide heterostructure resistive memory. Nano Lett 2013, 13: 2908. 10.1021/nl401287w
Garg SP, Krishnamurthy N, Awasthi A, Venkatraman M: The O-Ta (oxygen-tantalum) system. J Phase Equil 1996, 17: 63. 10.1007/BF02648373
Birks N, Meier GH, Pettit FS: Introduction to the high-temperature oxidation of metals. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 2006. http://www.doitpoms.ac.uk/tlplib/ellingham_diagrams/interactive.php
Fujimoto M, Koyama H, Konagai M, Hosoi Y, Ishihara K, Ohnishi S, Awaya N: TiO2 anatase nanolayer on TiN thin film exhibiting high-speed bipolar resistive switching. Appl Phys Lett 2006, 89: 223509. 10.1063/1.2397006
Hur JH, Lee M-J, Lee CB, Kim Y-B, Kim C-J: Modeling for bipolar resistive memory switching in transition-metal oxides. Phys Rev B 2010, 82: 155321.
Yoshida C, Kinoshita K, Yamasaki T, Sugiyama Y: Direct observation of oxygen movement during resistance switching in NiO/Pt film. Appl Phys Lett 2008, 93: 042106. 10.1063/1.2966141
Linn E, Rosezin R, Kugeler C, Waser R: Complementary resistive switches for passive nanocrossbar memories. Nat Mater 2010, 9: 403. 10.1038/nmat2748
Long S, Lian X, Cagli C, Cartoix X, Rurali R, Miranda E, Jimenez D, Perniola L, Ming Liu M, Sune J: Quantum-size effects in hafnium-oxide resistive switching. Appl Phys Lett 2013, 102: 183505. 10.1063/1.4802265
Long S, Cagli C, Ielmini D, Liu M, Sune J: Analysis and modeling of resistive switching statistics. J Appl Phys 2012, 111: 074508. 10.1063/1.3699369
Terai M, Sakotsubo Y, Saito Y, Kotsuji S, Hada H: Effect of bottom electrode of ReRAM with Ta2O5/TiO2 stack on RTN and retention. In Tech Dig - Int Electron Devices Meet. Baltimore, MD; 2009:1–4.
Chen YS, Lee HY, Chen PS, Liu WH, Wang SM, Gu PY, Hsu YY, Tsai CH, Chen WS, Chen F, Tsai MJ, Lien C: Robust high-resistance state and improved endurance of HfO x resistive memory by suppression of current overshoot. IEEE Electron Device Lett 2011, 32: 1585.
Govoreanu B, Kar GS, Chen Y, Paraschiv V, Kubicek S, Fantini A, Radu IP, Goux L, Clima S, Degraeve R, Jossart N, Richard O, Vandeweyer T, Seo K, Hendrickx P, Pourtois G, Bender H, Altimime L, Wouters DJ, Kittl JA, Jurczak M: 10 × 10nm2 Hf/HfO x crossbar resistive RAM with excellent performance, reliability and low-energy operation. In Tech Dig - Int Electron Devices Meet. Washington, DC; 2011:31.6.1–31.6.4.
Chien WC, Chen YR, Chen YC, Chuang ATH, Lee FM, Lin YY, Lai EK, Shih YH, Hsieh KY, Chih-Yuan L: A forming-free WO x resistive memory using a novel self-aligned field enhancement feature with excellent reliability and scalability. In Tech Dig - Int Electron Devices Meet. San Francisco, CA; 2010:19.2.1–19.2.4.
This work was supported by the National Science Council (NSC), Taiwan, under contract numbers: NSC-101-2221-E-182-061 and NSC-102-2221-E-182-057-MY2. The authors thank Electronic and Optoelectronic Research Laboratories, Industrial Technology Research Institute, Hsinchu, Taiwan, for their experimental support.
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
AP and DJ reviewed the papers under the instruction of SM. AP wrote the first draft and DJ prepared Tables 1 and 2 carefully under the instruction of SM. The final draft was modified by SM. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Authors’ original submitted files for images
Below are the links to the authors’ original submitted files for images.
Rights and permissions
Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0 ), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
About this article
Cite this article
Prakash, A., Jana, D. & Maikap, S. TaO x -based resistive switching memories: prospective and challenges. Nanoscale Res Lett 8, 418 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1186/1556-276X-8-418
- Resistive switching
- TaO x