Among the wide variety of electron devices and systems that exhibit pinched hysteresis current-voltage (I-V) characteristics, those associated with filamentary-like conduction have attracted significant attention in the last years because of their potential relevance in the field of nonvolatile memories. At the nanoscale, the quantum conductance unit G 0 = 2e 2/h, where $e$ is the electron charge and h is the Planck constant, establishes a well-defined upper current limit I = G 0V for the monomode ballistic conductor. Here, we explore two possible mechanisms that can lead to lower conductance loops: continuous modulation of the constriction's potential profile and discrete changes of the transmission probability through a chain of identical scatterers. The connection with the so-called memristive systems is also discussed. © 2012 IEEE.
- resistive switching