Anatomy of Ag/hafnia-based selectors with 1010 nonlinearity

Sneak path current is a significant remaining obstacle to the utilization of large crossbar arrays for non-volatile memories and other applications of memristors. A two-terminal selector device with an extremely large current-voltage nonlinearity and low leakage current could solve this problem. We present here a Ag/oxide-based threshold switching (TS) device with attractive features such as high current-voltage nonlinearity (~1010 ), steep turn-on slope (less than 1 mV/dec), low OFF-state leakage current (~10-14 A), fast turn ON/OFF speeds (<75/250 ns), and good endurance (>108 cycles). The feasibility of using this selector with a typical memristor has been demonstrated by physically integrating them into a multilayered 1S1R cell. Structural analysis of the nanoscale crosspoint device suggests that elongation of a Ag nanoparticle under voltage bias followed by spontaneous reformation of a more spherical shape after power off is responsible for the observed threshold switching of the device. Such mechanism has been quantitatively verified by the Ag nanoparticle dynamics simulation based on thermal diffusion assisted by bipolar electrode effect and interfacial energy minimization.