Investigation of resistance switching in SiOx RRAM cells using a 3D multi-scale kinetic Monte Carlo simulator

Sadi, T., Mehonic, A., Montesi, L., Buckwell, M., Kenyon, A. and Asenov, A. (2018) Investigation of resistance switching in SiOx RRAM cells using a 3D multi-scale kinetic Monte Carlo simulator. Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter, 30(8), 084005. (doi: 10.1088/1361-648X/aaa7c1) (PMID:29334362)

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We employ an advanced three-dimensional (3D) electro-thermal simulator to explore the physics and potential of oxide-based resistive random-access memory (RRAM) cells. The physical simulation model has been developed recently, and couples a kinetic Monte Carlo study of electron and ionic transport to the self-heating phenomenon while accounting carefully for the physics of vacancy generation and recombination, and trapping mechanisms. The simulation framework successfully captures resistance switching, including the electroforming, set and reset processes, by modeling the dynamics of conductive filaments in the 3D space. This work focuses on the promising yet less studied RRAM structures based on silicon-rich silica (SiOx) RRAMs. We explain the intrinsic nature of resistance switching of the SiOx layer, analyze the effect of self-heating on device performance, highlight the role of the initial vacancy distributions acting as precursors for switching, and also stress the importance of using 3D physics-based models to capture accurately the switching processes. The simulation work is backed by experimental studies. The simulator is useful for improving our understanding of the little-known physics of SiOx resistive memory devices, as well as other oxide-based RRAM systems (e.g. transition metal oxide RRAMs), offering design and optimization capabilities with regard to the reliability and variability of memory cells.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Electronic charge transport, self-heating, si-rich silica (SiOx) RRAMs, kinetic Monte Carlo (KMC) simulations.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Asenov, Professor Asen and Sadi, Dr Toufik
Authors: Sadi, T., Mehonic, A., Montesi, L., Buckwell, M., Kenyon, A., and Asenov, A.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Electronics and Nanoscale Engineering
Journal Name:Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter
Publisher:IOP Publishing
ISSN (Online):1361-648X
Published Online:15 January 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 IOP Publishing Ltd
First Published:First published in Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter 30(8): 084005
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
612281Resistive switches (RRAM) and memristive behaviour in silicon-rich silicon oxidesAsen AsenovEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/K016776/1ENG - ENGINEERING ELECTRONICS & NANO ENG