Complementary resistive switches for passive nanocrossbar memories


On the road towards higher memory density and computer performance, a significant improvement in energy efficiency constitutes the dominant goal in future information technology. Passive crossbar arrays of memristive elements were suggested a decade ago as non-volatile random access memories (RAM) and can also be used for reconfigurable logic circuits1,2,3,4,5. As such they represent an interesting alternative to the conventional von Neumann based computer chip architectures. Crossbar architectures hold the promise of a significant reduction in energy consumption because of their ultimate scaling potential and because they allow for a local fusion of logic and memory, thus avoiding energy consumption by data transfer on the chip6,7,8. However, the expected paradigm change has not yet taken place because the general problem of selecting a designated cell within a passive crossbar array without interference from sneak-path currents through neighbouring cells has not yet been solved satisfactorily. Here we introduce a complementary resistive switch. It consists of two antiserial memristive elements and allows for the construction of large passive crossbar arrays by solving the sneak path problem in combination with a drastic reduction of the power consumption.

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Figure 1: Crossbar array and sneak path issue.
Figure 2: Sweep properties of a CRS.
Figure 3: Pulse properties of a CRS.
Figure 4: Read voltage margin.


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The authors thank R. Soni for providing samples as well as T. Pössinger and D. Leisten for assistance with graphical layout. The work was supported by the additional funding project Nanoarchitecture Laboratory of the Helmholtz Association, Germany.

Author information




E.L. conceived the initial idea. E.L. and R.R. conducted measurements. C.K. and E.L. analysed the results. E.L. carried out the calculations; R.R. contributed to the calculations. C.K. and R.W. supervised the research. All authors wrote the manuscript and discussed the results and implications at all stages.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Rainer Waser.

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A patent application has been submitted by RWTH Aachen and Forschungszentrum Jülich based on these results.

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Linn, E., Rosezin, R., Kügeler, C. et al. Complementary resistive switches for passive nanocrossbar memories. Nature Mater 9, 403–406 (2010).

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