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Correlation between resistance-change effect in transition-metal oxides and secondary-electron contrast of scanning electron microscope images

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3 Author(s)
Kinoshita, K. ; Department of Information and Electronics, Graduate School of Engineering, Tottori University, 4-101 Koyama-Minami, Tottori 680-8552, Japan ; Yoda, T. ; Kishida, S.

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Conductive atomic-force microscopy (C-AFM) writing is attracting attention as a technique for clarifying the switching mechanism of resistive random-access memory by providing a wide area filled with filaments, which can be regarded as one filament with large radius. The writing area on a nickel-oxide (NiO) film formed by conductive atomic-force microscopy was observed by scanning electron microscope, and a correlation between the contrast in a secondary-electron image (SEI) and the resistance written by C-AFM was revealed. In addition, the dependence of the SEI contrast on the beam accelerating voltage (Vaccel) suggests that the resistance-change effect occurs near the surface of the NiO film. As for the effects of electron irradiation and vacuum annealing on the C-AFM writing area, it was shown that the resistance-change effect is caused by exchange of oxygen with the atmosphere at the surface of the NiO film. This result suggests that the low-resistance and high-resistance areas are, respectively, p-type Ni1+δO (δ < 0) and insulating (stoichiometric) or n-type Ni1+δO (δ ≥ 0).

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Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:110 ,  Issue: 6 )