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Issue 29, 2017
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Resistive switching induced by charge trapping/detrapping: a unified mechanism for colossal electroresistance in certain Nb:SrTiO3-based heterojunctions

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Abstract

SrTiO3 remains at the core of research on oxide electronics, owing to its fascinating properties and wide applications as a commercial substrate. Heterojunctions based on Nb-doped SrTiO3 (NSTO), including both metal/NSTO Schottky junctions (MSJs) and NSTO-based ferroelectric tunnel junctions (FTJs) have received considerable attention due to the colossal electroresistance (CER) effect. However, the mechanism underpinning the CER effect is still poorly understood. Here, we conduct a comparative study on the CER effects in Au/NSTO MSJs and Au/BaTiO3/NSTO FTJs. The two types of heterojunctions show many similarities in resistive switching characteristics, including hysteretic current–voltage curves with asymmetric shapes, absence of critical switching fields, switching times on the scale of ∼1.0 μs, and resistance relaxations of the Curie–von Schweidler type. These results suggest that the CER effects in the MSJs and FTJs may have a common origin, i.e., charge trapping/detrapping, as further revealed by scanning Kelvin probe microscopy. Using temperature-dependent current–voltage, capacitance–voltage, and photo-response measurements, we demonstrate that charge trapping/detrapping could modify both the Schottky barrier profile and the tunneling process, and in turn lead to different transport mechanisms in different voltage regimes. The charge trapping/detrapping-induced CER effect can be well described by a metal–insulator–semiconductor (MIS) model, which reproduces the hysteretic current–voltage curves fairly well over a large range of voltage sweeping and thus provides a unified framework for the CER effects in certain NSTO-based heterojunctions.

Graphical abstract: Resistive switching induced by charge trapping/detrapping: a unified mechanism for colossal electroresistance in certain Nb:SrTiO3-based heterojunctions

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Publication details

The article was received on 18 May 2017, accepted on 03 Jul 2017 and first published on 05 Jul 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7TC02197F
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. C, 2017,5, 7317-7327
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    Resistive switching induced by charge trapping/detrapping: a unified mechanism for colossal electroresistance in certain Nb:SrTiO3-based heterojunctions

    Z. Fan, H. Fan, L. Yang, P. Li, Z. Lu, G. Tian, Z. Huang, Z. Li, J. Yao, Q. Luo, C. Chen, D. Chen, Z. Yan, M. Zeng, X. Lu, X. Gao and J. Liu, J. Mater. Chem. C, 2017, 5, 7317
    DOI: 10.1039/C7TC02197F

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