Multistate resistive switching in silver nanoparticle films


Resistive switching devices have garnered significant consideration for their potential use in nanoelectronics and non-volatile memory applications. Here we investigate the nonlinear current–voltage behavior and resistive switching properties of composite nanoparticle films comprising a large collective of metal–insulator–metal junctions. Silver nanoparticles prepared via the polyol process and coated with an insulating polymer layer of tetraethylene glycol were deposited onto silicon oxide substrates. Activation required a forming step achieved through application of a bias voltage. Once activated, the nanoparticle films exhibited controllable resistive switching between multiple discrete low resistance states that depended on operational parameters including the applied bias voltage, temperature and sweep frequency. The films' resistance switching behavior is shown here to be the result of nanofilament formation due to formative electromigration effects. Because of their tunable and distinct resistance states, scalability and ease of fabrication, nanoparticle films have a potential place in memory technology as resistive random access memory cells.