Experimental and Modeling Study of Metal-Insulator Interfaces to Control the Electronic Transport in Single Nanowire Memristive Devices

Gianluca Milano*, Enrique Miranda, Matteo Fretto, Ilia Valov, Carlo Ricciardi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Memristive devices relying on redox-based resistive switching mechanisms represent promising candidates for the development of novel computing paradigms beyond von Neumann architecture. Recent advancements in understanding physicochemical phenomena underlying resistive switching have shed new light on the importance of an appropriate selection of material properties required to optimize the performance of devices. However, despite great attention has been devoted to unveiling the role of doping concentration, impurity type, adsorbed moisture, and catalytic activity at the interfaces, specific studies concerning the effect of the counter electrode in regulating the electronic flow in memristive cells are scarce. In this work, the influence of the metal-insulator Schottky interfaces in electrochemical metallization memory (ECM) memristive cell model systems based on single-crystalline ZnO nanowires (NWs) is investigated following a combined experimental and modeling approach. By comparing and simulating the electrical characteristics of single NW devices with different contact configurations and by considering Ag and Pt electrodes as representative of electrochemically active and inert electrodes, respectively, we highlight the importance of an appropriate choice of electrode materials by taking into account the Schottky barrier height and interface chemistry at the metal-insulator interfaces. In particular, we show that a clever choice of metal-insulator interfaces allows to reshape the hysteretic conduction characteristics of the device and to increase the device performance by tuning its resistance window. These results obtained from single NW-based devices provide new insights into the selection criteria for materials and interfaces in connection with the design of advanced ECM cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53027-53037
Number of pages11
JournalACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Issue number47
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2022


  • memristive devices
  • metal-insulator interfaces
  • nanowires
  • resistive switching
  • schottky barriers


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