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Abnormal coexistence of unipolar, bipolar, and threshold resistive switching in an Al/NiO/ITO structure

Xin-Cai Yuan1, Jin-Long Tang2, Hui-Zhong Zeng3 and Xian-Hua Wei1*

Author Affiliations

1 State Key Laboratory Cultivation Base for Nonmetal Composites and Functional Materials, Southwest University of Science and Technology, Mianyang 621010, People's Republic of China

2 School of Science, Southwest University of Science and Technology, Mianyang 621010, People's Republic of China

3 State Key Laboratory of Electronic Thin Films and Integrated Devices, University of Electronics Science and Technology of China, Chengdu 610054, People's Republic of China

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2014, 9:268  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-9-268

Published: 29 May 2014


This paper reports an abnormal coexistence of different resistive switching behaviors including unipolar (URS), bipolar (BRS), and threshold switching (TRS) in an Al/NiO/indium tin oxide (ITO) structure fabricated by chemical solution deposition. The switching behaviors have been strongly dependent on compliance current (CC) and switching processes. It shows reproducible URS and BRS after electroforming with low and high CC of 1 and 3 mA, respectively, which is contrary to previous reports. Furthermore, in the case of high-forming CC, TRS is observed after several switching cycles with a low-switching CC. Analysis of current-voltage relationship demonstrates that Poole-Frenkel conduction controlled by localized traps should be responsible for the resistance switching. The unique behaviors can be dominated by Joule heating filament mechanism in the dual-oxygen reservoir structure composed of Al/NiO interfacial layer and ITO. The tunable switching properties can render it flexible for device applications.

Resistive switching; Thin film; Interface; Indium tin oxide substrate