Microstructure dependent filament forming kinetics in HfO2 programmable metallization cells. Academic Article uri icon


  • Variability remains the principal concern for commercialization of HfO2 based resistance switching devices. Here, we investigate the role of thermal processing conditions on internal structure of atomic layer deposited HfO2 thin films, and the impact of that structure on filament forming kinetics of p+ Si/HfO2/Cu and TiN/HfO2/Cu devices. Regardless of bias polarity or electrode metal, filament formation times are at least one order of magnitude shorter in polycrystalline than in amorphous films, which we attribute to the presence of fast ion migration along grain boundaries. Within polycrystalline films, filament formation times are correlated with degree of crystalline orientation. Inter-device variability in forming time is roughly equivalent across HfO2 film processing conditions. The kinetics of filament forming are shown to be highly dependent on HfO2 microstructure, with possible implications for the inter-device variability of subsequent switching cycles.

published proceedings

  • Nanotechnology

author list (cited authors)

  • Clarke, H., Brown, T., Hu, J., Ganguli, R., Reed, A., Voevodin, A., & Shamberger, P. J

citation count

  • 7

complete list of authors

  • Clarke, Heidi||Brown, Timothy||Hu, Jianjun||Ganguli, Raj||Reed, Amber||Voevodin, Andrey||Shamberger, Patrick J

publication date

  • October 2016