Atomic force microscopy (AFM), conductive AFM and electrochemical strain microscopy were used to study the topography change at the defect surface of SrTiO3:N, breakdown in the electrical conduction of the tip/sample/electrode system and ionic motion. The IV curves show resistance switching behavior in a voltage range ±6 V < U <± 10 V and a current of maximum ±10 nA. A series of sweeping IV curves resulted in an increase in ionically polarized states (surface charging), electrochemical volume (surface deformations) and sequential formations of stable surface protrusions. The surface deformations are reversible (U <± 5 V) without IVpinched hysteresis and remained stable during the resistance switching (U >± 6 V), revealing the additional necessity (albeit insufficient due to 50% yield of working cells) of surface protrusion formation for resistance switching memory.
Shkabko, A., Aguirre, M. H., Kumar, A., Kim, Y., Jesse, S., Waser, R., Kalinin, S. V., & Weidenkaff, A. (2013). Surface deformations as a necessary requirement for resistance switching at the surface of SrTiO3:N. Nanotechnology, 24(47), 1-9. https://doi.org/10.1088/0957-4484/24/47/475701