Donor-Induced Performance Tuning of Amorphous SrTiO3 Memristive Nanodevices: Multistate Resistive Switching and Mechanical Tunability

 Significance Statement

The electrical resistance in memristors is not constant like standard transistors, It is believed that memristor can remember the direction and magnitude of the electricity applied to it. It is also non-volatile in that it retains that “memory” whilst turned off and does so until it has another electric charge applied.

Australian scientists from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology developed memristive nanodevices that mimic the brain’s ability to simultaneously process and store multiple strands of information. The authors used high performance memristors utilizing amorphous SrTiO3 to achieve multi-state switching. Unlike the ordinary 0s and 1s, with the new material several states may be achieved similar to the synapses of the brain. These studies get us one step closer to creating human-like artificial intelligence

One potential application memory nanodevices would be to understand better neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease and test new treatments.

About the author

Associate Professor Dr. Sharath Sriram jointly leads a group in Functional Materials and Microsystems at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, where he is also Deputy Director of the Micro Nano Research Facility. He was an Australian Museum 2015 3M Emerging Leader in Science finalist and recipient of awards such as the 2014 RMIT Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Research Excellence and the 2012 NMI Prize amongst others. His work explores new properties in ultra-thin oxide materials and their incorporation into devices for electronics, wearable devices, and photonics.

 Donor-Induced Performance Tuning of Amorphous SrTiO3 Memristive Nanodevices advances in engineering

Journal Reference

Advanced Functional Materials, Volume 25, Issue 21, pages 3172–3182, 2015.

Hussein Nili1,*,Sumeet Walia1, Ahmad Esmaielzadeh Kandjani2, Rajesh Ramanathan2, Philipp Gutruf1, Taimur Ahmed1, Sivacarendran Balendhran1,Vipul Bansal2, Dmitri B. Strukov3, Omid Kavehei1, Madhu Bhaskaran1 , Sharath Sriram1,*

[expand title=”Show Affiliations”]
  1. Functional Materials and Microsystems Research Group and Micro Nano Research Facility, RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  1. NanoBiotechnology Research Laboratory, School of Applied Sciences, RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  1. Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, University of California Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA, USA


Metal–oxide valence-change memristive devices are the key contenders for the development of multilevel nonvolatile analog memories and neuromorphic computing architectures. Reliable low energy performance and tunability of nonlinear resistive switching dynamics are essential to streamline the high-density circuit level integration of these devices. Here, manipulation of room temperature-synthesized defect chemistry is employed to enhance and tune the switching characteristics of high-performance amorphous SrTiO3 (a-STO) memristors. Substitutional donor (Nb) doping with low concentrations in the a-STO oxide structure allows extensive improvements in energy requirements, stability, and controllability of the memristive performance, as well as field-dependent multistate resistive switching. Evidence is presented that room temperature donor doping results in a modified insulator oxide where dislocation sites act as charge carrier modulators for low energy and multilevel operation. Finally, the performance of donor-doped a-STO-based memristive nanodevices is showcased, with the possibility of mechanical modulation of the nonlinear memristive characteristics of these devices demonstrated. These results highlight the potential of donor-doped a-STO nanodevices for high-density integration as analog memories and multifunctional alternative logic elements.

© 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim

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