B1 Fast transient electrical analysis of resistive switching phenomena

Project B1 (2019-2023) aims to develop strategies for design optimization of PCM and VCM cells, in particular regarding scaling. Here, we will consider especially the role of heating as a key parameter controlling the required non-linearity of the switching kinetics. The device dynamics, including threshold switching, will be investigated experimentally and simulated by continuum and/or compact models. For a deeper fundamental understanding of the underlying processes, ultra-fast excitation with pico-second pulses will be employed. Finally, the capability of multi-level switching will be an objective of this project due to its technological relevance.


The promising switching kinetics of PCM and VCM cells enable their use in non-volatile memories simultaneously realizing 10-years stability and sub-nanosecond switching. For the development of material design rules a deeper understanding of the influence of composition, doping and structural order on its switching kinetics is required. Therefore, high-resolution, fast transient electrical measurements will be performed in a broad time range from 10-11 to 103 s and compared with electro-thermal FEM simulations and physical compact modelling. Advanced control of the cell temperature will be realized by the integration of a nanoscale heating structure.


The dynamics of phase change material (PCM),thermo-chemical material (TCM), and valence change material (VCM) switching is being studied by high-resolution, fast transient electrical measurements in the time domain as well as by impedance spectroscopy in the frequency domain over a large dynamic range from mHz to GHz. Besides the elucidation of the underlying mechanisms of the resistive switching, this project will reveal to what extent the voltage-time dilemma holds and what empirical ways exist to overcome that dilemma. Theoretical approaches of the switching processes are being performed by a combination of ab-initio molecular dynamics with a kinetic Monte Carlo (kMC) method.

Principal investigators:

Dr.-Ing. U. Böttger
Institut für Werkstoffe der Elektrotechnik 2
RWTH Aachen University
Phone: +49 (0)241 80 27823
E-mail: boettger@iwe.rwth-aachen.de

Dr. rer. nat. M. Salinga
I. Physikalisches Institut IA
RWTH Aachen University
Phone: +49 (0)241 80 27178
E-mail: martin.salinga@physik.rwth-aachen.de

(since 2015)
Dr.-Ing. S. Menzel
Peter Grünberg Institut (PGI-7)
Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH
Phone: +49 (0)2461 61 6074
E-mail: st.menzel@fz-juelich.de

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. S. Blügel
Peter Grünberg Institut (PGI-1) and
Institute for Advanced Simulation (IAS-1)
Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH
Phone: +49 (0)2461 61 4249
E-mail: s.bluegel@fz-juelich.de