Nonvolatile memory (NVM) technologies have been an integral part of electronic systems for the past 30 years. The ideal non-volatile memory have minimal physical size, energy usage, and cost while having maximal speed, capacity, retention time, and radiation hardness. A promising candidate for next-generation memory is ion-conducting bridging RAM which is referred to as programmable metallization cell (PMC), conductive bridge RAM (CBRAM), or electrochemical metallization memory (ECM), which is likely to surpass flash memory in all the ideal memory characteristics. A comprehensive physics-based model is needed to completely understand PMC operation and assist in design optimization.
To advance the PMC modeling effort, this thesis presents a precise physical model parameterizing materials associated with both ion-rich and ion-poor layers of the PMC's solid electrolyte, so that captures the static electrical behavior of the PMC in both its low-resistance on-state (LRS) and high resistance off-state (HRS). The experimental data is measured from a chalcogenide glass PMC designed and manufactured at ASU. The static on- and off-state resistance of a PMC device composed of a layered (Ag-rich/Ag-poor) Ge30Se70 ChG film is characterized and modeled using three dimensional simulation code written in Silvaco Atlas finite element analysis software. Calibrating the model to experimental data enables the extraction of device parameters such as material bandgaps, workfunctions, density of states, carrier mobilities, dielectric constants, and affinities.
The sensitivity of our modeled PMC to the variation of its prominent achieved material parameters is examined on the HRS and LRS impedance behavior.
The obtained accurate set of material parameters for both Ag-rich and Ag-poor ChG systems and process variation verification on electrical characteristics enables greater fidelity in PMC device simulation, which significantly enhances our ability to understand the underlying physics of ChG-based resistive switching memory.