A two-terminal write-once-read-many-times-memory device based on an aluminum nitride thin film containing Al nanocrystals

J Nanosci Nanotechnol. 2010 Sep;10(9):5796-9. doi: 10.1166/jnn.2010.2440.


A switching from a high-conduction state to a low-conduction state occurs in an AIN thin film containing Al nanocrystals (nc-Al) when the nc-Al is charged with electrons. The switching is explained in terms of breaking of the conductive percolation paths of the nc-AI as a result of the charging of the nc-Al. A write-once-read many times-memory (WORM) device is demonstrated based on this phenomenon. The device can be switched by charging the nc-Al with a voltage of +10 V for 100 ms, yielding a current ratio of the two memory states of more than 300 at the reading voltage of 1 V. The charged state (i.e., the low-conduction state) remains unchanged after more than 1 x 106 read cycles, and its retention time is predicted to be more than 10 years.