Article abstract

Nature Materials 7, 966 - 971 (2008)
Published online: 16 November 2008 | doi:10.1038/nmat2331

Subject Categories: Electronic materials | Semiconductors | Nanoscale materials

Electronic two-terminal bistable graphitic memories

Yubao Li1,3, Alexander Sinitskii1,3 & James M. Tour1,2

Transistors are the basis for electronic switching and memory devices as they exhibit extreme reliabilities with on/off ratios of 104–105, and billions of these three-terminal devices can be fabricated on single planar substrates. On the other hand, two-terminal devices coupled with a nonlinear current–voltage response can be considered as alternatives provided they have large and reliable on/off ratios and that they can be fabricated on a large scale using conventional or easily accessible methods. Here, we report that two-terminal devices consisting of discontinuous 5–10 nm thin films of graphitic sheets grown by chemical vapour deposition on either nanowires or atop planar silicon oxide exhibit enormous and sharp room-temperature bistable current–voltage behaviour possessing stable, rewritable, non-volatile and non-destructive read memories with on/off ratios of up to 107 and switching times of up to 1 mus (tested limit). A nanoelectromechanical mechanism is proposed for the unusually pronounced switching behaviour in the devices.

  1. Departments of Chemistry; Computer Science and Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and the Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology, Rice University, MS 222, 6100 Main Street, Houston, Texas 77005, USA
  2. These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to: James M. Tour1,2 e-mail:


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