C2 Defect engineering and scaling of resistively switching oxide thin films

In project C2 (2019-2023) we will further clarify the details of the oxygen exchange reaction such as the role of carbon and hydrogen and their interplay with defects at the oxide thin film surface. A special focus of the third funding period will be to study the scaling limits of crystalline model systems (HfO2 and SrTiO3) with respect to the correlation between the atomic and electronic structure of certain types of defects and phases, the differences in the field induced microscopic changes and the resulting electrical changes. Based on this knowledge, we will develop strategies for the design of thin films with optimized defect configuration and phase for improved reliability and scaling potential for future ReRAM applications.


Defect engineering in resistively switching SrTiO3 thin films

In this project we will grow SrTiO3 thin films with tailored defect structure either by an adjustment of the growth conditions, by UV and EUV irradiation or by the use of Au or oxide nanoparticles as defect nucleation points. In order to gain a deeper understanding of the underlying mechanisms, we will study the formation of defects in the early stage of growth by in-situ AFM/STM measurements. We will furthermore clarify the correlation between the presence of certain types of extended defects and the switching performance of SrTiO3 thin films. Based on this knowledge, we will develop strategies for the design of thin films with optimized defect configurations for improved scaling potential and increased switching speed.


Defect engineering in resistive switching SrTiO3 thin films

In oxide materials, defects ranging from point defect vacancies to extended defects play a crucial role and are even considered as nanoscale functional resistive switching units. Within this project, we are aiming to gain a deeper understanding of the correlation between pulsed laser deposition thin film growth conditions, defect formation and switching properties. Based on this knowledge, we are developing defect engineered resistive switching thin film devices with improved reliability and scaling potential. By employing template assisted growth methods, we furthermore target at the development of fabrication routes for thin films containing regular arrays of defects for the use in future non-volatile memories.

Principal investigator:

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. R. Dittmann
Peter Grünberg Institut (PGI-7)
Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH
Phone: +49 (0)2461 61 4760
E-mail: r.dittmann@fz-juelich.de