In this work, we investigated the effect of the tungsten nitride (WNx) diffusion barrier layer on the resistive switching operation of the aluminum nitride (AlN) based conductive bridge random access memory. The WNx barrier layer limits the diffusion of Cu ions in the AlN switching layer, hence controlling the formation of metallic conductive filament in the host layer. The device operated at a very low operating voltage with a Vset of 0.6 V and a Vreset of 0.4 V. The spatial and temporal switching variability were reduced significantly by inserting a barrier layer. The worst-case coefficient of variations (σ/µ) for HRS and LRS are 33% and 18%, respectively, when barrier layer devices are deployed, compared to 167% and 33% when the barrier layer is not present. With a barrier layer, the device exhibits data retention behavior for more than 104 s at 120 °C, whereas without a barrier layer, the device fails after 103 s. The device demonstrated synaptic behavior with long-term potentiation/depression (LTP/LTD) for 30 epochs by stimulating with a train of identical optimized pulses of 1 µs duration.
- barrier layer
- synaptic device