CMOS compatible electrode materials selection in oxide-based memory devices

30 May 2018

Electrode materials selection guidelines for oxide-based memory devices are constructed from the combined knowledge of observed device operation characteristics, ab-initio calculations, and nano-material characterization. It is demonstrated that changing the top electrode material from Ge to Cr to Ta in the Ta2O5-based memory devices resulted in a reduction of the operation voltages and current. Energy Dispersed X-ray (EDX) Spectrometer analysis clearly shows that the different top electrode materials scavenge oxygen ions from the Ta2O5 memory layer at various degrees, leading to different oxygen vacancy concentrations within the Ta2O5, thus the observed trends in the device performance. Replacing the Pt bottom electrode material with CMOS compatible materials (Ru and Ir) further reduces the power consumption and can be attributed to the modification of the Schottky barrier height and oxygen vacancy concentration at the electrode/oxide interface. Both trends in the device performance and EDX results are corroborated by the ab-initio calculations which reveal that the electrode material tunes the oxygen vacancy concentration via the oxygen chemical potential and defect formation energy. This experimental-theoretical approach strongly suggests that the proper selection of CMOS compatible electrode materials will create the critical oxygen vacancy concentration to attain low power memory performance.