Real-Time Observation of the Electrode-Size-Dependent Evolution Dynamics of the Conducting Filaments in a SiO2Layer

Fang Yuan, Zhi Zhang, Chunru Liu, Feichi Zhou, Hei Man Yau, Wei Lu, Xiaoyan Qiu, H. S.Philip Wong, Jiyan Dai, Yang Chai

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


Conducting bridge random access memory (CBRAM) is one of the most promising candidates for future nonvolatile memories. It is important to understand the scalability and retention of CBRAM cells to realize better memory performance. Here, we directly observe the switching dynamics of Cu tip/SiO2/W cells with various active electrode sizes using in situ transmission electron microscopy. Conducting filaments (CFs) grow from the active electrode (Cu tip) to inert electrode (W) during the SET operations. The size of the Cu tip affects the electric-field distribution, the amount of the cation injection into electrolyte, and the dimension of the CF. This study provides helpful understanding on the relationship between power consumption and retention of CBRAM cells. We also construct a theoretical model to explain the electrode-size-dependent CF growth in SET operations, showing good agreement with our experimental results.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4097-4104
Number of pages8
JournalACS Nano
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2017


  • conducting bridge random access memory
  • conducting filament
  • in situ transmission electron microscopy
  • nonvolatile memory
  • resistive switching memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this