Resistive random access memory enabled by carbon nanotube crossbar electrodes

Cheng Lin Tsai, Feng Xiong, Eric Pop, Moonsub Shim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We use single-walled carbon nanotube (CNT) crossbar electrodes to probe sub-5 nm memory domains of thin AlOx films. Both metallic and semiconducting CNTs effectively switch AlOx bits between memory states with high and low resistance. The low-resistance state scales linearly with CNT series resistance down to ∼10 MΩ, at which point the ON-state resistance of the AlOx filament becomes the limiting factor. Dependence of switching behavior on the number of cross-points suggests a single channel to dominate the overall characteristics in multi-crossbar devices. We demonstrate ON/OFF ratios up to 5 × 105 and programming currents of 1 to 100 nA with few-volt set/reset voltages. Remarkably low reset currents enable a switching power of 10-100 nW and estimated switching energy as low as 0.1-10 fJ per bit. These results are essential for understanding the ultimate scaling limits of resistive random access memory at single-nanometer bit dimensions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5360-5366
Number of pages7
JournalACS Nano
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 25 2013


  • aluminum oxide
  • atomic layer deposition (ALD)
  • carbon nanotubes
  • crossbar
  • resistive memory
  • RRAM scaling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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