Collaborative Research Center 917 - Nanoswitches


Resistively Switching Chalcogenides for Future Electronics – Structure, Kinetics, and Device Scalability

The unrivalled success of electronics in the past forty years has been based both on a continuous decrease of the feature size ("downscaling") and the persistent improvement of the devices by a reduction of structural defects.

In oxides and higher chalcogenides, on the contrary, structural defects represent the essential nano-scale functional units in a variety of resistive switching phenomena. An understanding of the microscopic mechanisms of the switching processes and a tailoring of the relevant defects on the nanometer scale hence promise radically new approaches in electronics and may lead, in the long-term, to a paradigm shift towards a defect-based electronics technology.

Memristors - A Paradigm Shift in Semiconductor Electronics?



The name "memristor" – combining "memory" and "resistor" – was coined by the American researcher Leon Chua. It was Chua who provided the theoretical basis for this new type of memory element.


Resistive switching comprises a class of phenomena where the resistance of a two-terminal cell changes hysteretically upon an external electrical stimulus between stable binary states, a high-resistive state (HRS) and low-resistive state (LRS). By proper programming multiple resistance states are observed which further increases the application potential. Because of the hysteretic signature of the resistance changes, this property has been called memristive by Leon Chua.

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