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Memristive properties of hexagonal WO3 nanowires induced by oxygen vacancy migration

Xiongwu He, Yanling Yin, Jie Guo, Huajun Yuan, Yuehua Peng, Yong Zhou, Ding Zhao, Kuo Hai, Weichang Zhou and Dongsheng Tang*

Author Affiliations

Key Laboratory of Low-dimensional Quantum Structures and Quantum Control of Ministry of Education, College of Physics and Information Science, Hunan Normal University, Changsha, 410081, People's Republic of China

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2013, 8:50  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-50

Published: 24 January 2013


Tungsten trioxide (WO3) is always oxygen-deficient or non-stoichiometric under atmospheric conditions. Positively charged oxygen vacancies prefer to drift as well as electrons when the electric field is strong enough, which will alter the distribution of oxygen vacancies and then endow WO3 with memristive properties. In Au/WO3 nanowire/Au sandwich structures with two ohmic contacts, the axial distribution of oxygen vacancies and then the electrical transport properties can be more easily modulated by bias voltage. The threshold electric field for oxygen vacancy drifting in single-crystal hexagonal WO3 nanowire is about 106 V/m, one order of magnitude less than that in its granular film. At elevated temperatures, the oxygen vacancy drifts and then the memristive effect can be enhanced remarkably. When the two metallic contacts are asymmetric, the WO3 nanowire devices even demonstrate good rectifying characteristic at elevated temperatures. Based on the drift of oxygen vacancies, nanoelectronic devices such as memristor, rectifier, and two-terminal resistive random access memory can be fabricated on individual WO3 nanowires.

Electrical transport; Memristive properties; WO3 nanowires; Oxygen vacancies; PACS; 72.20.-i; 73.40.Qv; 73.63.-b