Combined AFM and ToF-SIMS analyses for the study of filaments in organic resistive switching memories

Yan Busby, Alexis Franquet, Valentina Spampinato, Giulia Casula, Annalisa Bonfiglio, Piero Cosseddu, Jean Jacques Pireaux, Laurent Houssiau

    Research output: Contribution in Book/Catalog/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


    The resistive switching mechanism in organic and hybrid resistive memories has been intensively studied in the last years. A particular interest have been directed to solution processed resistive layers based on an organic or polymer compounds for which convincing direct and indirect evidences indicated that the switching mechanism is based on the formation of conductive filaments (CFs) bridging the two metal electrodes. However, the CF composition, formation and rupture dynamics and evolution during the prolonged cycling are still poorly explored. Experiments are rare because of the well-known challenges in characterizing nanoscale filaments. In this work, we combine time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) 3D imaging and in-situ atomic force microscopy (AFM), acquired at different profile depths, to characterize the CF composition and dynamics in high-performance and environmental stable crossbar Ag/parylene C/Ag printed memories. The results allow characterizing the filaments composition, their formation mechanism by electrochemical metallization and their evolution upon cycling. Moreover, the AFM images allow for a more clear interpretation of ToF-SIMS 3D reconstructions of molecular ions and to highlight artifacts arising from the different sputtering rate of metals as compared to the organic material.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationOrganic and Hybrid Sensors and Bioelectronics XI
    EditorsIoannis Kymissis, Emil J. W. List-Kratochvil, Ruth Shinar, Luisa Torsi
    ISBN (Electronic)9781510620476
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018
    EventOrganic and Hybrid Sensors and Bioelectronics XI 2018 - San Diego, United States
    Duration: 19 Aug 201822 Aug 2018


    ConferenceOrganic and Hybrid Sensors and Bioelectronics XI 2018
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    CitySan Diego


    • AFM
    • depth profiling
    • hybrid devices
    • Resistive switching
    • ToF-SIMS


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