Impact of Intercell and Intracell Variability on Forming and Switching Parameters in RRAM Arrays

Alessandro Grossi, Damian Walczyk, Cristian Zambelli, Enrique Miranda, Piero Olivo, Valeriy Stikanov, Alessandro Feriani, Jordi Sune, Gunter Schoof, Rolf Kraemer, Bernd Tillack, Alexander Fox, Thomas Schroeder, Christian Wenger, Christian Walczyk

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44 Citations (Scopus)


© 1963-2012 IEEE. The intercell variability of the initial state and the impact of dc and pulse forming on intercell variability as well as on intracell variability in TiN/HfO<inf>2</inf>/Ti/TiN 1 transistor - 1 resistor (1T-1R) devices in 4-kb memory arrays were investigated. Nearly 78% of devices on particular arrays were dc formed with a wordline (WL) voltage V-{\text {WL}}= 1.4 V and a bitline (BL) voltage V-{\text {BL}}= 2.3 V, whereas 22% of devices were not formed due to the combined effect of the extrinsic process-induced intercell variability of the initial state and the intrinsic intercell variability after dc forming. Furthermore, pulse-induced forming with pulsewidths on the order of 10~\mu \text{s} ( V-{\text {WL}}= 1.4 V and V-{\text {BL}}= 3.5 V) caused for 86% of devices a low-resistance state. Using a retry algorithm, we achieve 100% of formed devices. To assess and confirm the nature of the variability during forming operation and during cycling, the quantum point-contact model was considered. The modeling results demonstrate a relationship between the forming and the device performance. The cells requiring high energy for the forming operation, due to impurities in the HfO<inf>2</inf> deposition during array processing, are those subject to poor switching performance, larger variability, and faster wear out. Devices formed by a pulse-retry algorithm show: 1) shorter endurance and 2) higher variability during cycling
Original languageEnglish
Article number7131534
Pages (from-to)2502-2509
JournalIEEE Transactions on Electron Devices
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2015


  • 4-kb resistive random access memory (RRAM) array
  • hafnium dioxide (HfO)
  • intercell variability
  • intracell variability
  • pulse-induced forming
  • quantum point-contact (QPC) model.


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