Observation of single-defect memristor in an MoS2 atomic sheet

Saban M Hus, Ruijing Ge, Po-An Chen, Liangbo Liang, Gavin E Donnelly, Wonhee Ko, Fumin Huang, Meng-Hsueh Chiang, An-Ping Li, Deji Akinwande

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Non-volatile resistive switching, also known as memristor1 effect, where an electric field switches the resistance states of a two-terminal device, has emerged as an important concept in the development of high-density information storage, computing and reconfigurable systems2-9. The past decade has witnessed substantial advances in non-volatile resistive switching materials such as metal oxides and solid electrolytes. It was long believed that leakage currents would prevent the observation of this phenomenon for nanometre-thin insulating layers. However, the recent discovery of non-volatile resistive switching in two-dimensional monolayers of transition metal dichalcogenide10,11 and hexagonal boron nitride12 sandwich structures (also known as atomristors) has refuted this belief and added a new materials dimension owing to the benefits of size scaling10,13. Here we elucidate the origin of the switching mechanism in atomic sheets using monolayer MoS2 as a model system. Atomistic imaging and spectroscopy reveal that metal substitution into a sulfur vacancy results in a non-volatile change in the resistance, which is corroborated by computational studies of defect structures and electronic states. These findings provide an atomistic understanding of non-volatile switching and open a new direction in precision defect engineering, down to a single defect, towards achieving the smallest memristor for applications in ultra-dense memory, neuromorphic computing and radio-frequency communication systems2,3,11.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNature Nanotechnology
Early online date09 Nov 2020
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 09 Nov 2020

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