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Resistive switching in strained Ag/SrTiO3/In RRAM devices

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Resistive switching in strained Ag/SrTiO3/In RRAM devices
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Zhelyaskova, Vesta
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Resistive random-access memory (RRAM) devices are a type of memristor based on resistance switching that boast nanosecond switching speeds, low operating power, summa retention times, and long lifetimes. Coupled with their nonvolatility and scalability, RRAM technology has the potential to replace conventional flash memory and dynamic random-access memory. In this study, Ag/SrTiO3/In RRAM device resistive switching is explained via Schottky barrier modulation, either through the diffusion of oxygen vacancies or oxygen ion conduction. With the potential of improving device performance, the effects of strain on the device were assessed and tested. We report a memory window enlarged by one of order of magnitude as well as lower power consumption with the potential for other improvements that have yet to be tested. Overall, the preliminary performance results of the strained Schottky-based device show promise for further device optimization and novel physical phenomena through strain engineering ( en )
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Awarded Bachelor of Science, summa cum laude, on May 8, 2018. Major: Physics
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College or School: College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
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Advisor: Professor Arthur Hebard. Advisor Department or School: Physics

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University of Florida
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Copyright Vesta Zhelyaskova. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.

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R esist ive switching in strained Ag/SrTiO 3 /In RRAM devices Vesta Zhelyaskova A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment for the degree of Bachelor of Science Department of Physics University of Florida

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Vesta Zhelyaskova University of Florida 2 Abstract Resistive random access memory (RRAM ) devices are a type of memristor based on resistance switching that b oast nanosecond switching spe eds low oper ati ng power high retenti on times, and long lifet imes. C ouple d with their nonvolatility and s calability, RRAM technology ha s the potential to replace conventional flash memory and dynamic r andom access memory. In this study, A g / SrTiO 3 /In RRAM de vice resistive switching is explained via Schottky barrier modulation either through the diffus ion of oxygen vacancies or o xygen ion c onduction. With the potenti al of improving device performance, the effects of strain on the device were asses sed and tested. We report a memory window enlarged by one of order of magnitu de as well as lower power consumption with the potential for other impr ovements that have yet to be tested. Overall, the preliminary performa nce results of the st rained Schottky ba sed device show promise f or fu rther device optimi zation and novel physical phenomen a through strain engineering. Background Resistive random access memory (RRAM or ReRAM) devices are a type of memristor based on resist ance switching These devices have variable resistance states depending on their history of electrical stimulus supply is removed. Boasting fast state switching (on the order of ns), low operating voltage ( approximately 1 V ), and long retenti on times RRAM has great potential to replace conventional flash memory and dynamic random access memory storage 1 One of the most important advantages of RRAM devices is their scalability. As electronics are designed smaller, conventional flash memory tec hnology has already struggled to scale accordingly. RRAM devices could be the next step in nonvolatile, high density working and main memory storage 2 Furthermore, a pplying strain to these devices and introducing phase transitions in their constituent mate rials has the potential to favorably alter their electronic properties, thus improving performance. 1.1 RRAM Devices A simple RRAM device consists of an insulator or semiconductor sandwiched by two metal electrodes With a bias applied across it, the device can switch between resistive states either in the bulk of the insulator (bulk switching) or at the metal insulator junction (interface switching)

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Vesta Zhelyaskova University of Florida 3 The two logic states for data storage are represented by either a low or high resistive state (LRS or HRS). M ultiple resistive states can also be exploited for higher density memory storage. A typical bulk switching RRAM device with a metal insulator metal structure (Figure 1a) begins in the insulating HRS R esistive switching is accessed via a the insulator undergoes soft dielectric breakdown and temporarily becomes conducting (resistance decreases by at least one order of magnitude) Unlike hard dielectric breakdown, soft dielectric breakdown is reversible Such reversibility in conducti vity is the basis of the switching mechanism in bulk switching RRAM devices Switching from HRS into LRS occurs at a voltage (V SET ) and the transition from LRS back to HRS is achieved b y applying RESE T ) Typically, V SET is larger than V RESET and their polarities depend on the material. For interface switching RRAM devices however, resistive switching occurs at the interface of the metal and semiconductor/insulator junction and is driven by other mechan isms (discussed in Section 1.3) Our interface switching devices are best described by Figure 1b 1.2 Materials Resist ance switching behavior has been observed in a variety of materials including binary oxides, ternary oxides (perovskites), and chalcogenides with each type exhibiting different switching mechanisms. Binary oxides have been the most extensively studied among the resist ance switching materials because of their easy fabrication and reliability ( both crucial factors for RRAM development in industry ) 2 Furthermore, materials for RRAM devices must be chosen so that conducting and insulating phases of the material do not chemically interact with each other, especially at the high temperatures induced by Joule heating 3 In this study, d evice materials w ere chosen with the desired switching mechanism in mind. For bulk switching, insulators with controlled dopant/defect concentrations and metals with low work functions ( that form ohmic contacts with the insulator ) are desirable. For devices in this study u ndergoing interface switching metals with relatively higher work functions, such as gold and silver, are used as front electrodes. At the interface between the gold or silver and the semiconducting dielectric, a Schottky barrier is formed and the switchin g mechanism occurs at the interface via modulation of the barrier. The indium back electrode forms an ohmic contact with the dielectric and does not play a role in the switching mechanism. Figure 2 shows the band structure of an interface switching device as a Schottky barrier An interfacial layer made up of mid gap interface states, derived from the

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Vesta Zhelyaskova University of Florida 4 semiconductor s bulk states is included in the band structure. With a highe r areal density of trap states than in a bulk layer, the Fermi e nergy is pinned and form s a thin potential barrier at the interface In the case of our devices however, this thi n interfacial layer plays a negligible role in the switching and is thus, not considered further in the discussion SrTiO 3 a n insulator with a high dielectric constant, has a high charge storing capacity, good insulating properties, and chemical stability at elevated temperatures 4 Resistive switching properties can be achieved by doping SrTiO 3 with Nb (substituting Ti atoms) or intentionally introducing oxygen vacancies 5 Additionally, its excellent optical transparency in the visible region is useful for optoelectronic applications 6 Our devices use oxygen vacancy doped SrTiO 3 During their formation, o xygen vacancies generate free electrons released into the conduction band and can therefore be considered donor impurities Empty oxygen vacancies can be modeled as positive charge carriers while electron filled oxygen vacancies can be modeled as trap state s The oxygen 1.3 Switching mechanisms RRAM devices can exhibit either unipolar or bipolar switching depending on the switching mechanism and material. In the case of a unipolar device, the switching mechanism is independent of the applied voltage bias polarity and V SET and V RESET will have the same polarity Conversely, V SET and V RESET must have opposite polarities. Figure 3 shows the hysteresis in the I V curve of a unipolar and bipolar RRAM device SET and V RESE T labeled. Generally, insulator based RRAM devices express unipolar switching through soft dielectric breakdown. C onductive filaments are formed through the bulk of the material to the bottom electrode and the switching occurs in a small gap between and the electrode 7 Filament formation is not required for bipolar switching, which occurs at the metal oxide interface. T he polarity dependent operation can be explained through either the movement of oxygen vacancies (positive charge carriers) or oxygen ion conduction C onduction through the material is a consequence of either electric field or thermal effects via electron transport processes

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Vesta Zhelyaskova University of Florida 5 Figure 1 Schematics of RRAM (a) bulk switching device and (b) three interface switching device s Figure 2. Band structure of metal/n type M is the work function of B is the Schottky barrier height. The interf acial layer in seri es with the Schottky barr ier is present in our device but is s o thin that it negligibly affe cts the device s swit ching and is not considered further. Figure 3. Schematic I V curves showing (a) unipolar and (b) bipolar switching methods 7 (a) ( b )

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Vesta Zhelyaskova University of Florida 6 that often coexist within the device Distinguishing the prevalent transport process is challenging, but generally, bipolar devices are dominated by electric field effects (polarity dependent) whereas unipolar devices are dominated by t hermal effects (polarity independent) Figure 4 summarizes the possible electron transport mechanisms of an RRAM device The oxygen vacancies are treated as mid gap trap states that result in trap assisted conduction. Thermal effects, which can be exacerba ted by h igh current densities (> 10 6 A cm 2 ) are summarized as (1) electron injection over the Schottky barrier into the conduction band (Schottky emission) and (2) electron excitation from trap states into the conduction band (Poole Frenkel emission) The thermal fluctuations of trapped electro ns also collectively known as Poole Frenkel emission become evident in the I V curves as a dependence 7 where B is the Schottky barrier height and is a constant. E lectric field effects manifest through electron tunneling processes: (3) Fowler Nordheim tunneling (f ield emission) from the electrode to conduction band (4) direct tunneling between electrodes if the material is thin enough, tunneling ( 5 ) from electrode to trap state, ( 6 ) from trap state to trap state, ( 7 ) from trap state to conduction band, or ( 8 ) from t rap state to electrode 3 The trap assisted tunneling processes manifest in the I V curve as a 7 The prevalence of either thermal or electric field effects depends on the type of device (bulk or interface switching) and the level of doping. Fitting of the I V curves can help elucidate the dominating conduction behavior. Figure 4. Electron transport mechanisms in an interface switching RRAM device 3 labeled as : (1) Schottky emission ; (2) Fowler Nordheim emission ; (3) direct tunneling ; (5) Poole Frenkel emission; (4) (6), ( 7), and (8) trap assisted tunneling

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Vesta Zhelyaskova University of Florida 7 D riving forces that affect carrier motion include species concentration gradient s and temperature gradients. The electric field, Soret, and Fick forces affect the migration rate of oxygen With an applied electric field, the vacancies and ions migrate parallel and antiparallel to the field. The Soret and Fick forces work in conjunction with the force of the applied electric field. The Soret force is a consequence of Joule heating that occurs around the conducting channel. A local rise in t emperature forms a temperature gradient perpendicular to the conducting channels, that pushes oxygen vacancies toward the hotter conducting channel 7 Additionally, higher temperatures around the channel gen vacancies and lead to oxygen vacancy rich regions during switching. Opposing the Soret force is the Fick force, which restores the original distribution of oxygen vacancies and removes the oxygen vacancy concentration gradient generated by the Soret fo rce. Because the conducting paths are formed parallel to the applied electric field, both the Soret and Fick forces act perpendicularly to the electric field and are thus, polarity independent. These forces are most relevant for conductive filament based d evices T he conduction paths and short conductive filaments formed in interface switching device have even more localized heating that most probably negligibly affects the switching mechanism. Wide bandgap perovskites, such as SrTiO 3 can accept large amounts of dopants. Doping pure SrTiO 3 with oxygen vacancies resistance T he higher the concentration of oxygen vacancies, the higher the conductivity. In the bulk of thicker materials ( thickness greater than a few nm ), oxygen vacancies can form conducting filamentary paths between sandwiching electrodes and lead to soft dielectric breakdown In devices where switching occurs a t the metal semiconductor interface and not in the bulk the Schottky height and width can be changed as the oxygen vacancies diffuse and redistribute within the material under an applied bias In vacancy doped SrTiO 3 the height of the barrier remains approximately constant and can be approximated as the difference in Fermi energy and electron affinity. The switching mechanism we consider in our devices results from the accumulation of oxygen vacancies at the interface Consider the metal semiconductor interface as analogous to a p n junction: the electrode is the n type mat erial and the SrTiO 3 also is an n type material but with much fewer carriers and can be modeled as a p type material. The intrinsic electric field formed in the depletion region in a p n junction at equilibrium is analogous to the

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Vesta Zhelyaskova University of Florida 8 Schottky potential barrie r at the metal semiconductor interface. A p n junction at forward bias will decrease the electric field strength within the depletion region. Similarly, applying a negative bias to the top electrode of the RRAM device will cause the positive oxygen vacanci es to migrate to the electrode, and at equilibrium the Schottky barrier width will decrease. Thus, the device switches from HRS to LRS Tunneling effects increase and begin to dominate in this scenario because the potential barrier becomes much thinner and Schottky emission becomes much less likely Under forward bias the oxygen vacancies migrate away from the top electrode and widen the Schottky barrier switching the device from LRS to HRS. In this scenario, tunneling effects become negligible while S chottky emission and other thermionic emission effects dominate Some models suggest that the switching mechanism is due to the formation of new oxygen vacancies rather than the rearrangement of the existing ones introduced during annealing. This mechanism of ion ic conduction is analogous to the electron trapping/detrapping models suggested by many studies 7 When applying a positive bias to the top electrode, oxygen vacancies will diffuse away as in the previous case Oxygen ions within the SrTiO 3 lattice however will redistribute and migrate towards the electrode, eventually diffusing out of the material and leaving an accumulation of newly formed oxygen vacancies at the interface In this case, the buildup of oxygen vacancies at the interface decrease s the widt h of the barrier, increase s trap assisted tunneling, and switch es the device from HRS to LRS under forward bias Under negative bias, the oxygen vacancies are n. The Schottky barrier width increases, Schottky emission becomes the dominating form of current, and the device switches from LRS to HRS. The two competing models of oxygen vacancy migration coexist within our devices, but the latter mechanism seems to d ominate. As can be inferred from the two conflicting switching mechanism models, the exact role of oxygen vacancies in the resistive switching is still under investigation and varies with material. 1.4 Parameters and Dependencies RRAM features are described by several parameters: w indow size operating voltage, s witching speed retention, and lifetime Window size is the ratio between the HRS and LRS resistance and is determined at low voltage biases where the I V curve can be approximated as linear ( 0. 1 V 0. 1 V) A ratio of 10 to 15 is considered large enough for a device to be qualified as RRAM. The minimum voltage at which this ratio is achieved is the operating voltage which

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Vesta Zhelyaskova University of Florida 9 One challenge in RRAM industry is the variability in the HRS and LRS between cycles. Only considering RRAM devices with window sizes of at least 10 is generally enough to avoid having either the HRS or LRS resistance within ates opportunities for denser memory storage with more than two logic states given the window size between each state is large enough to distinguish the states each cycle. Window size can be increased by increasing either the applied bias or the compliance current, so long as the device does not breakdown. In this study we define switching speed is the shortest amount of time required for the RRAM device to switch between resistive states with a window of at least 20. Methods used to determine device switc hing speeds are outlined in Section 2.2. Because the switching speed depends on the temperature dependent carrier transport, switching speed is temperature dependent and the relationship varies with material and dominant switching mechanism 7 Retention ti me is defined as t he time required for the device to lose its RRAM features or its last resistive state For nonvolatile memory devices such as RRAM, retention time should be on the order of months to years 8 Typically, to keep our devices in LRS, they must be reset and set anew at least every 15 minutes. Determining the optimal trade off between switching speed and retention time is a common challenge in the RRAM industry. As one parameter increases, the other necessarily decreases as both are governed by the same processes 7 As our devices approach their lifetime of approximately 10 4 switching cycles they breakdown and lose RRAM features Some bulk switching anion based RRAM devices however, have been shown to have endurances up to 10 6 cycles 1 The lifetime of the interface switching devices has potential for improvement once the device materials are prepared with more precision and control to effectively study the source of the degradation. 1.5 Strain Effects Applying strain to RRAM devices has the potential to improve device perf ormance an d reveal novel device physics S tudies of oxygen vacancy doped SrTiO 3 under strain have shown that both tensile and compressive strain have the same effect on the material suggesting a common mechanism between the two types of strain. For SrTiO 3 thin films or at the thin Au/ SrTiO 3 interface in our case tensile and compressive strain both decrease the vacancy formation enthalpy and potentially increase the diffusion coefficient of the vacancies along particular directions in the

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Vesta Zhelyaskova University of Florida 10 9 If the diffusion rate of oxyg en vacancies within the material increases with strain, the process will still be relatively s low thus decreas ing the switching speed. Other studies also show enhanced electron mobility in strained SrTiO 3 resulting from a reduced bandgap 10 Thin film SrTiO 3 dielectric constant has been modeled to show a rapid increase in dielectric constant = 0.010 % at 300 K = 0.012% at 300 K), the dielectric constant is found to rapidly decrease, restoring its original value 11 Increased interfacial f erroelectric polarization of the material may be the mechanism behind the increasing dielectric constant At temperatures approaching 0 K, SrTiO 3 behaves as a ferroelectric and at temperatures above its Curie temperature ( T C ) it behaves as a paraelectric. SrTiO 3 ferroelectric properties become more apparent at higher strain because of reduced quantum fluctuations 11 Furthermore, applying strain has been shown to increase T C (up to 300 K for 1% compressive or te nsile strain) 11 This increased spontaneous and maintained polarization may be why the dielectric constant increases. Although the reduction of the quantum fluctuations may contribute to the changing dielectric constant, the formation of extra dipoles at t he interface may be the more likely mechanism. Under strain, the extension or contraction of bond lengths or the crystal lattice constant may create dipole moments, especially at the interface of the device. These interface dipoles may increase SrTiO 3 ility to shield an applied electric field and thus, increa se its dielectric constant. Treating the interface volume where switching occurs as a thin film, a similar dielectric dependency on strain is expected to prevail in our devices Thus, w ith a larger dielectric constant, the material will screen the applied electric field more effectively and V SET and V RESET both increase as a larger applied electric field will be required to switch the device In the band diagram, the Schottky barrier will drop off more slowly, widening the potential barrier. We hypothesize that the s train effects will manifest themselves in the I V plots as downward shifts (lower current for a given voltage ) in the LRS and HRS curves.

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Vesta Zhelyaskova University of Florida 11 Experimental Methods 2.1 Sample preparation Oxygen vacancies are introduced i nto the SrTiO 3 through annealing in vacuum around 1000C for approximately 1 hour. The top gold electrodes are evaporated onto annealed SrTiO 3 and wired using silver paint and gold wires. Given a perfect crystal (without surface and internal defects and strains) with uniform oxygen vacancy doping, the RRAM features (LRS and HRS resistance) should not vary with electrode area. However, the SrTiO 3 crystal has nonuniform distribution of oxygen vacancies, intrinsic defects and strain from growth, and additional surface defects introduced during annealing. Annealing the material in medium vacuum ( 10 7 Torr ) to introduce oxygen vacancies roughens the surfaces as the oxygen diffuses out 4 Because of the additional mid gap states that annealing introduces in addition to the trap states from other defects, the switching properties being studied may not be dominated by oxygen vacancy migration and the corr esponding electric transport. Additionally, oxygen vacancies tend to accumulate along grain boundaries and dislocations in the material, creating pathways for faster migration. reases (1) the conductivity of the material too much and (2) the likelihood of large conductive filaments will form Both are undesirable effect s in interface switching devices. areas must be minimized to limit the unwanted si de effects of defects Furthermore, s maller contact areas tend to produce more stable devic es. Our devices had areas of approximately 0.5 to 1 mm 2 Ideally the device has a HRS resistance of 2.2 Characterization V curves are measured using a Keithley 2400 two wire ohm sensing method RRAM features revealed in the I V plots (V SET V RESET window size, HRS/LRS resistance) are compa red before and after applying strain. Switching speed of the device is determined by pulsing the device with single square waves until it switches from one resistive state into the other (with a window size of at least 20). The square wave is generated by a HP3312 function generator and is offset so that it delivers a entirely negative or positive pulse.

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Vesta Zhelyaskova University of Florida 12 the switching speed from HRS to LRS, the experiment begins with a short pulse time ( 10 ns) and a small pulse amplitude (2 V). After each pulse, the resistance of the device i s determined by acquiring a portion of its I V in the linear regime ( 0.05 to 0.05 V) and is compared to the original resistance. Pulse times are increased at this voltage bias until the resistance changes at least by a factor of 20. Data of the window size collect ed for pulse lengths close to the target pulse length may be linearly fit or extrapolated to determine the exact switching time at each bias. Switching from LRS to HRS requires the same process with a negative pulse. To more accurately determine the window size, the device must be set or reset (depending on which switch is being investigated) between pulses. Hall measurements can be performed to determine carrier type and concentrations. Furthermore, a Physical Properties Measurement System (PPMS) can be u sed to the find temperature dependency of RRAM features. Device I V characterization with strain is typically destructive and performed last. Strain is applied to devices using a smooth, micrometer screw tip. Devices are loaded into a custom strain stage, contacts facing away from the tip. Figure 5 shows the stage schematic with a loaded sample. Our preliminary experiments have only studied the effects of tensile strain. Studying compressive strain only requires flipping the device contacts facing up. F igure 5 Schematic of strain device and sample.

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Vesta Zhelyaskova University of Florida 13 Preliminary Results and Future Work Before preparing Au/SrTiO 3 /In devices, the strain device and characterization methods were tested with simpler Ag/SrTiO 3 /In devices that do not re quire an additional step of evaporation V c haracteristic before and after strain are shown in Figure 6 Strain on the sample is approximated as where x is the small displacement of the strain tip into the sample, and t and L 0 are the thickness and length of the sample respectively 12 The drop in c urrent through the strained device is apparent which may confirm the hypothesis of an increased dielectric constant. We calculated the strain on our devices as roughly = 0.05%, which is much greater than the cri tical strain ( = 0.0 12 % ) 11 thus eliminat ing the idea of reduced quantum fluctuations as the root cause of an increasing dielectric constant. A dditional data from several devices is required to confirm that th is phenomenon of lowered current under strain is not anomalous HRS resistance changed from 1.1 in the unstrained device to 550.0 M in the strained device and LRS resistance changed from 91.0 to 694.7 k These resistance states reveal a dramatically enlarged window of approximately 790 in the strained sample compared to the window of 12 in the unstrained sample The strained devic corresponds to a lower operational power. The power consumption can further be lowered by switching at lower Figure 6 Ag/SrTiO 3 /In device I V curves with strain ( = 0.05% ) and without strain.

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Vesta Zhelyaskova University of Florida 14 The origin of the leftward shift in the strained s V plot is un known and still under investigation. The shift might have arisen from systematic instrumentation error or from intrinsic material properties. In the latter case, interface dipoles (originating from surface states) effectively s creen t he applied electric field over a range of biases. Thus within this rang e the current through the device does not increase shifting the I V plot. The theoretical value of the Schottky barrier height, B is the energy difference between function ( silver alloy paint ) and the semiconductor (SrTiO 3 ) electron affinity. For this device: Using data from the I V curves, we B before and after strain The actual value of the barrier height (determined by the Schottky emission current) cannot easily be determined experimentally because the various current contributions are difficult to distinguish In general, where I SB I T and I FE are the current contributions from Schottky emission, other thermionic emission (Poole Frenkel) and field emission (Fowler Nordheim and direct tunneling) respectively. Ideally, the Schottky barrier height will not vary with applie metal/semiconductor interface states, tunneling effects, and thermionic emission all increase the ideality factor. At forward bias, Schottky emission is the dominant source of curre nt and thus, B At low biases, the (thermionic emission dominated) current can be approximated using the Richardson Dusham equation as where e is the elementary charge, V is the applied bias , and where A is the contact area, R* is the Richardson constant 13 Rearranging the equation gives B from the linear regime in the I V plots. Using an approximate conta ct area of 1 mm 2 the unstrained device current ideality factor is calculated to be 4.8 in HRS and 7.1 3.9 in HRS and 4.6 in LRS. B was 0.83 eV and 0.71 eV B for the strained device is 1.02 eV and 0.8 5 eV in HRS and LRS respectively. As

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Vesta Zhelyaskova University of Florida 15 expected, the ideality factor drops for a device in LRS, when Schottky emission current competes with more field emission and thermionic emission. Degradatio n in the devices is noticeable between measurements hours to days apart. One source of degradation is the diffusion of oxygen back into the SrTiO 3 Samples are kept in the ambient with ample opportunity to refill their intentionally introduced oxygen vacan cies. Although the ambient oxygen will not fill all the vacancies, enough will be filled (especially close to the surface) to transition SrTiO 3 into a more insulating state. One possible source of error may result from using several years old, previously a nnealed SrTiO 3 Although the samples have likely returned to their intrinsic state by refilling the originally introduced oxygen vacancies, they may have more defects and impurities from previous experiments. Past the preliminary experiments, freshly grown and control annealed SrTiO 3 will be used. Another source of error may arise during the strain testing. The straining tip is metal and 3 samples. Similarly, th e strain stage is made of copper and any contact the device may have with it could affect the electronic measurements. To avoid any electrical effects from the tip and stage paint or tape will be used to cover the metal areas to prevent them from direct ly contact ing the sample. After the sample preparation techniques are improved and the characterization during strain is improved to be nondestructive, the effects of strain on Au/SrTiO 3 /In devices will be tested and compared with the strain effects on Ag/Sr TiO 3 /In devices Furth ermore, device performance will be investigated under tensile strain to confirm that both types of stress prove advantageous Changes in switching speed in devices under strain will also be investigated. Performing switching speed experiments at various temperatures can reveal the prevailing switching mechanism. Additional efforts will be made to better control the annealing process. Annealing in partial oxygen pressure may help improve the surface smoothness, and thus improve device contacts and performance. Fu ture experiments may investigate temperature effects on devices under strain in Further on the horizon, RRAM devices with 2D semiconducting vdW materials (such as transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) and brominated multilaye r graphene) as electrodes may be studied under strain. These materials have yet to be thoroughly investigated especially in the context of RRAM devices and may reveal fascinating physical phenomenon. O verall, the p reliminary resu lts show

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Vesta Zhelyaskova University of Florida 16 great promis e in strained RRAM de vices. More controlled stud ies of strain effects are possible through heter oepitaxial growth of SrT i O 3 introducing strain (compressive or tensile) through lattice mismatch Strain engineering will be a cr it ical component of maximi zing f uture RRAM device performance. References [1] T. Chang, K. Chang, et al., Materials To day 19 (2016) 254 264 [2] L. Zhu, J. Zhou, et al., J. Materiomics 1 (2015) 285 295 [3] J. J. Yang, D. B. Strukov, and D. R. Stewart, Nat. Nanotech. 8 (2013) 13 24 [4] C. Rodenbcher, P. Meuffels, et al., Rapid Research Lett. 11 (2017) 1700222 [5] J. Shujuan, Y. Jinliang, et al., J. of Semiconductors 37 (2016) 072001 [6] S. Myhajlenk, A. Bell, et al., J. of Appl. Phys. 97 (2005) 014101 [7] J. Sung Lee, S. Lee, T. Won Noh, App l Phys. Rev. 2 (2015) 031303 [8] F. Pan, S. Gao, et al. Mat. Sci. and Eng. R 83 (2014) 1 59 [9] L. Iglesias, A. Sarantopoulos, et al., Phys. Rev. B 95 (2017) 165138 [10] A. Janotti, D. Steiauf, C.G. Van de Walle, Phys. Rev. B 84 (2011) 201304 [11] H. Wu, R. Zhang, Y.G. Zhan, Phys. Lett. A 374 (2010) 4779 4783 [12] P. R. Mickel, H. Jeen, et al., Appl. Phys. Lett. 105 (2015) 262904 [13] S. Coulombe, J. Meunier, J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. 30 776