Study of multilevel programming in Programmable Metallization Cell (PMC) memory

Ugo Russo, Deepak Kamalanathan, Daniele Ielmini, Andrea L. Lacaita, Michael Kozicki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

271 Scopus citations


Programmable metallization cell (PMC) memory, also known as conductive bridging RAM (CBRAM), is a resistive-switching memory based on non-volatile formation and dissolution of a conductive filament (CF) in a solid electrolyte. Although ease of fabrication, promising performance and multilevel (ML) capability make the PMC a possible candidate for post-Flash non-volatile memories, further physical understanding is required to better assess its true potential. In this work, we investigate the kinetics involved in the programming operation (i.e., transition from the high resistance to the low resistance state), which occurs by voltage-driven ion migration and electrochemical deposition, and results in CF formation and growth. The main kinetic parameters control-ling the programming operation are extracted from our electrical data. Also, CF growth and corresponding resistance decrease is shown to be controllable with reasonable accuracy in pulse mode by employing a variable load resistance which can dynamically control the programming kinetics. A semi-analytical physical model is shown to account for experimental data and allows for the engineering of fast and reliable ML programming in one transistor - one resistor (1T-1R) devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1040-1047
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Electron Devices
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2009


  • Electrical switching
  • Modeling
  • Multilevel storage
  • Non-volatile memory
  • Solid electrolyte

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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