Russian scientists from MIPT were able to significantly extend the life of memristors, artificial analogs of neutrons.
Our results will help to understand how a new type of memory cells based on ruthenium can be significantly improved. An increase in the thickness of its film leads to an increase in the roughness of the electrode surface, while regions of local concentration of the electric field are formed on the slopes of the grains. This significantly improves the key characteristics of memristors and gives hope that memory devices will have better performance and reliability in the future.
Andrey Markeev, Head of the Atomic Layer Deposition Group, MIPT
Recall that memristors are resistors that can store received information. They differ from ordinary resistors in that the resistance of the memristor depends on how the current passed through it before. It is this property that gives the memristor the ability to memorize and modify previously recorded data.
However, there is a problem: memristors cannot withstand more than a few hundred write cycles and lose their properties. Russian scientists have tried to solve this problem with ruthenium, a metal from the platinum group that does not have such compatibility problems. Another property that gives off ruthenium is that its electrodes can be obtained by atomic-layer deposition, which allows flexible control over their size and three-dimensional shape.
Physicists have tried to grow ruthenium electrodes of various thicknesses and shapes on the surface of a titanium nitride film, one of the traditional components of memristors. After that, it was connected with a layer of thallium oxide and monitored how changes in the structure and thickness of the electrode affected the properties of the entire memory cell as a whole.
Such a device can survive tens of millions of read and write cycles. Physicists hope that their development will help accelerate the development of memristor electronics.