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Open Access Nano Idea

Copper pillar and memory characteristics using Al2O3 switching material for 3D architecture

Siddheswar Maikap*, Rajeswar Panja and Debanjan Jana

Author Affiliations

Thin Film Nano Tech. Lab., Department of Electronic Engineering, Chang Gung University, 259 Wen-Hwa 1st Rd, Kwei-Shan, Tao-Yuan 333, Taiwan

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2014, 9:366  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-9-366

Published: 26 July 2014


A novel idea by using copper (Cu) pillar is proposed in this study, which can replace the through-silicon-vias (TSV) technique in future three-dimensional (3D) architecture. The Cu pillar formation under external bias in an Al/Cu/Al2O3/TiN structure is simple and low cost. The Cu pillar is formed in the Al2O3 film under a small operation voltage of <5 V and a high-current-carrying conductor of >70 mA is obtained. More than 100 devices have shown tight distribution of the Cu pillars in Al2O3 film for high current compliance (CC) of 70 mA. Robust read pulse endurances of >106 cycles are observed with read voltages of −1, 1, and 4 V. However, read endurance is failed with read voltages of −1.5, −2, and −4 V. By decreasing negative read voltage, the read endurance is getting worst, which is owing to ruptured Cu pillar. Surface roughness and TiOxNy on TiN bottom electrode are observed by atomic force microscope and transmission electron microscope, respectively. The Al/Cu/Al2O3/TiN memory device shows good bipolar resistive switching behavior at a CC of 500 μA under small operating voltage of ±1 V and good data retention characteristics of >103 s with acceptable resistance ratio of >10 is also obtained. This suggests that high-current operation will help to form Cu pillar and lower-current operation will have bipolar resistive switching memory. Therefore, this new Cu/Al2O3/TiN structure will be benefited for 3D architecture in the future.

Resistive memory; Cu pillar; 3D cross-point architecture; High density