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Memristors are passive nanoelectronics devices with applications in memories and switches which, although not containing magnetic components, have as distinct signature a hysteresis loop in the current-voltage dependence. Even if the prototype material for memristors is a binary oxide, we demonstrate that such devices can be easily implemented using carbon nanotubes decorated with metallic nanoislands, where the hysteretic action is a result of the thermionic emission of electrons trapped in the gold nanoislands.