Total ionizing dose (TID) effects of γ ray radiation on switching behaviors of Ag/AlO x /Pt RRAM device
© Yuan et al.; licensee Springer. 2014
Received: 29 June 2014
Accepted: 26 August 2014
Published: 29 August 2014
The total ionizing dose (TID) effects of 60Co γ ray radiation on the resistive random access memory (RRAM) devices with the structure of Ag/AlO x /Pt were studied. The resistance in low resistance state (LRS), set voltage, and reset voltage are almost immune to radiation, whereas the initial resistance, resistance at high resistance state (HRS), and forming voltage were significantly impacted after radiation due to the radiation-induced holes. A novel hybrid filament model is proposed to explain the radiation effects, presuming that holes are co-operated with Ag ions to build filaments. In addition, the thermal coefficients of the resistivity in LRS can support this hybrid filament model. The Ag/AlO x /Pt RRAM devices exhibit radiation immunity to a TID up to 1 Mrad(Si) and are highly suitable for radiation-hard electronics applications.
Recently, resistive random access memory (RRAM) has drawn great research attention. It is widely recognized to be a promising nonvolatile memory for the next generation due to its high compatibility with complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) process and outstanding memory performance such as fast switching speed, high storage density, low power consumption, great data reliability, etc[1–7]. In addition, the future application of RRAM in aerospace or nuclear industry is full of potential. The major challenges in such applications lie in the radiation-induced degradation of RRAM performance. Radiation sources in the outer aerospace and nuclear industries include X-ray and γ ray radiation, energetic electrons, protons, and heavy ion bombardment, etc., and they can bring displacement damages, radiation-induced charge trapping on oxide layers, radiation-induced tunneling leakage, soft breakdown, and hard breakdown[8–10]. Some studies have pointed out that a few kinds of RRAM materials have a good immunity to certain types of radiation, such as HfO2[11, 12], TiO2[13, 14], and Ta2O5[15, 16], etc. The reported good radiation immunity can be ascribed to the reversible filament-based switching mechanism of these RRAM devices. When an operation voltage is applied to the RRAM device, metal ions or oxygen ions/vacancies from the device electrodes or from the oxide material, according to the electrical field, drift in the film bulk to form or rupture the conducting filaments, leading the device transit between the high and low resistance states reversibly[17–20]. Similarly, aluminum oxide (AlO x ), which is widely used in modern CMOS technology, also has an excellent filament-based RRAM performance[2, 3]. However, the radiation effects on AlO x RRAM are not implemented.
In this work, the filament-based RRAM with the structure of Ag/AlO x /Pt was chosen as the experimental devices since it has the well-understood filament-based switching mechanism. 60Co γ ray treatment is used as the radiation source to investigate the total ionizing dose (TID) effects on the devices. The switching behaviors and memory performances with different radiation doses are compared and analyzed. Moreover, a radiation-induced hybrid filament model is proposed to explain the TID effects of γ ray treatment.
Results and discussion
Comparison of radiation effects between published literature and this work
In this paper, the total ionizing dose (TID) effect of 60Co γ ray radiation on Ag/AlO x /Pt RRAM devices has been investigated. Degradations of uniformity and performance are observed in resistance and switching voltage, which is caused by the radiation-induced holes. A hybrid filament model is proposed to suggest that holes are co-operated with Ag ions to build filaments. The model is proved by the thermal coefficients of resistivity in LRS. Moreover, the Ag/AlO x /Pt RRAM devices demonstrate a satisfactory anti-radiation ability because of the stable resistive switching and a sufficient memory window.
This work was supported (in part) by the State Key Development Program for Basic Research of China (No. 2011CBA00602) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 20111300789).
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