Anomalous Resistance Hysteresis in Oxide ReRAM: Oxygen Evolution and Reincorporation Revealed by In Situ TEM

David Cooper*, Christoph Baeumer, Nicolas Bernier, Astrid Marchewka, Camilla La Torre, Rafal E. Dunin-Borkowski, Stephan Menzel, Rainer Waser, Regina Dittmann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

137 Citations (Scopus)


The control and rational design of redox-based memristive devices, which are highly attractive candidates for next-generation nonvolatile memory and logic applications, is complicated by competing and poorly understood switching mechanisms, which can result in two coexisting resistance hystereses that have opposite voltage polarity. These competing processes can be defined as regular and anomalous resistive switching. Despite significant characterization efforts, the complex nanoscale redox processes that drive anomalous resistive switching and their implications for current transport remain poorly understood. Here, lateral and vertical mapping of O vacancy concentrations is used during the operation of such devices in situ in an aberration corrected transmission electron microscope to explain the anomalous switching mechanism. It is found that an increase (decrease) in the overall O vacancy concentration within the device after positive (negative) biasing of the Schottky-type electrode is associated with the electrocatalytic release and reincorporation of oxygen at the electrode/oxide interface and is responsible for the resistance change. This fundamental insight presents a novel perspective on resistive switching processes and opens up new technological opportunities for the implementation of memristive devices, as anomalous switching can now be suppressed selectively or used deliberately to achieve the desirable so-called deep Reset.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1700212
JournalAdvanced materials
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • anomalous switching
  • in situ TEM
  • memristive devices
  • oxygen exchange
  • resistive switching
  • SrTiO


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