Investigation of the Switching Mechanism in TiO2-Based RRAM: A Two-Dimensional EDX Approach

Daniela Carta*, Iulia Salaoru, Ali Khiat, Anna Regoutz, Christoph Mitterbauer, Nicholas M. Harrison, Themistoklis Prodromakis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The next generation of nonvolatile memory storage may well be based on resistive switching in metal oxides. TiO2 as transition metal oxide has been widely used as active layer for the fabrication of a variety of multistate memory nanostructure devices. However, progress in their technological development has been inhibited by the lack of a thorough understanding of the underlying switching mechanisms. Here, we employed high-angle annular dark-field scanning transmission electron microscopy (HAADF-STEM) combined with two-dimensional energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (2D EDX) to provide a novel, nanoscale view of the mechanisms involved. Our results suggest that the switching mechanism involves redistribution of both Ti and O ions within the active layer combined with an overall loss of oxygen that effectively render conductive filaments. Our study shows evidence of titanium movement in a 10 nm TiO2 thin-film through direct EDX mapping that provides a viable starting point for the improvement of the robustness and lifetime of TiO2-based resistive random access memory (RRAM).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19605-19611
Number of pages7
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number30
Early online date22 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - 3 Aug 2016


  • energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy
  • memristors
  • resistive memory
  • resistive switching
  • thin films
  • titanium dioxide


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