Department of Physics

Physics Colloquium

DATE:           Friday, April 17, 2015
TIME:           12:20 pm - 1:30 pm
LOCATION:   301 Campbell Hall

"Molecular Nanojunction as a Model System for Ion Migration Based Resistive Switches"

Dr. Lam Hoi Yu
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Rice University


Memory devices based on resistive switching have attracted significant interest recently due to their prospect for high scalability, fast operational time, and low power consumption. The basic structure of a resistive switch is a junction formed from sandwiching an insulating layer between two conductive electrodes. In a majority of these resistive switches, the change in resistive state, from insulating to conductive, is controlled by the motions of ions in the junction driven by an applied electric field. With traditional electronic memory rapidly approaching its miniaturization limits, understanding how basic material parameters affect the operation of a resistive switch has become an urgent task. In this talk, I will present a model that relates the material parameters of a resistive switch to its operating parameters. I will describe how this model was developed from our experiments with nanoscale resistive switches based on molecular nanojunctions formed using the crossed-wire platform, a simple experimental technique based on sandwiching a self-assembled monolayer of molecule between two extremely fine metal wires. The crossed-wire platform allows us to rapidly test thousands of independent nanojunctions thus providing us with the statistics necessary to develop a meaningful model for the operation of the switch.