Impact of moisture absorption on the resistive switching characteristics of a polyethylene oxide-based atomic switch†
We investigated the effects of relative humidity (RH) in the ambient atmosphere on the resistive switching behavior of a polyethylene oxide (PEO)-based atomic switch. Current–voltage, cyclic voltammetry, and electrochemical impedance measurements were carried out on a Ag/Ag salt-included PEO/Pt device at various RH levels. It was found that the operation voltages decreased in magnitude as the RH levels increased. This behavior was explained by enhanced Ag oxidation rates at the anode, which are facilitated by counter reactions of absorbed water molecules at the cathode. Increased Ag+ ion conductivity also contributes to the decreased operation voltages at higher RH levels, which may originate from a lowering of water molecule interactions with ether groups in the polymer chains. The results show that water molecules play a crucial role in determining the switching behavior and operation voltages of polymer-based atomic switches.