Investigation of resistance switching in SiOx RRAM cells using a 3D multi-scale kinetic Monte Carlo simulator

Toufik Sadi, Adnan Mehonic, Luca Montesi, Mark Buckwell, Anthony Kenyon, Asen Asenov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We employ an advanced three-dimensional (3D) electro-thermal simulator to explore the physics and potential of oxide-based resistive random-access memory (RRAM) cells. The physical simulation model has been developed recently, and couples a kinetic Monte Carlo study of electron and ionic transport to the self-heating phenomenon while accounting carefully for the physics of vacancy generation and recombination, and trapping mechanisms. The simulation framework successfully captures resistance switching, including the electroforming, set and reset processes, by modeling the dynamics of conductive filaments in the 3D space. This work focuses on the promising yet less studied RRAM structures based on silicon-rich silica (SiOx) RRAMs. We explain the intrinsic nature of resistance switching of the SiOx layer, analyze the effect of self-heating on device performance, highlight the role of the initial vacancy distributions acting as precursors for switching, and also stress the importance of using 3D physics-based models to capture accurately the switching processes. The simulation work is backed by experimental studies. The simulator is useful for improving our understanding of the little-known physics of SiOx resistive memory devices, as well as other oxide-based RRAM systems (e.g. transition metal oxide RRAMs), offering design and optimization capabilities with regard to the reliability and variability of memory cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article number084005
Pages (from-to)1-11
JournalJournal of Physics Condensed Matter
Volume30
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Feb 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • electronic charge transport
  • kinetic Monte Carlo (KMC) simulations
  • self-heating
  • Si-rich silica (SiOx) RRAMs

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