LONDON – Nanoelectronics research institute IMEC has claimed to have made a breakthrough in the understanding of the physical nature of filaments in resistive RAM devices.
IMEC (Leuven, Belgium) has had a research project on ReRAM for some time working on metal-oxides and metal-chalcogenide mixes. In ReRAM, a dielectric, which is normally insulating, can be made conductive through a filament or conduction path formed by applying a sufficiently high voltage.
The research group said that it has established how the minimum achievable current after reset depends on the physical nature of the filament produced in a forming process, resulting in a method to predict the current from filament properties. IMEC claims that this knowledge will help in allowing filaments to be formed to create stable ReRAM devices.
IMEC did not state what materials or at what geometries and dimensions the work was done. IMEC said that the work had been done in collaboration with partners in its core CMOS programs which include Globalfoundries, Intel, Micron, Panasonic, Samsung, TSMC, Elpida, Hynix, Fujitsu and Sony.
As well as the scaling of metal-oxide ReRAMs to below 10-nm IMEC is investigating Mott transitions in materials such as vanadium oxide (VO2) as a potential ReRAM mechanism. The Mott transition, named after Nobel prize-winning physicist Sir Nevill Mott, is an insulator-metal transition that occurs at different specific temperatures for different materials. Mott insulators are thought to be non-conducting because of electron-electron interactions.
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