The switching location of a bipolar memristor: chemical, thermal and structural mapping. Academic Article uri icon


  • Memristors are memory resistors promising a rapid integration into future memory technologies. However, progress is still critically limited by a lack of understanding of the physical processes occurring at the nanoscale. Here we correlate device electrical characteristics with local atomic structure, chemistry and temperature. We resolved a single conducting channel that is made up of a reduced phase of the as-deposited titanium oxide. Moreover, we observed sufficient Joule heating to induce a crystallization of the oxide surrounding the channel, with a peculiar pattern that finite element simulations correlated with the existence of a hot spot close to the bottom electrode, thus identifying the switching location. This work reports direct observations in all three dimensions of the internal structure of titanium oxide memristors.

published proceedings

  • Nanotechnology

altmetric score

  • 16.848

author list (cited authors)

  • Strachan, J. P., Strukov, D. B., Borghetti, J., Yang, J. J., Medeiros-Ribeiro, G., & Williams, R. S.

citation count

  • 99

complete list of authors

  • Strachan, John Paul||Strukov, Dmitri B||Borghetti, Julien||Yang, J Joshua||Medeiros-Ribeiro, Gilberto||Williams, R Stanley

publication date

  • June 2011