Publication Date

8-2009

Type of Culminating Activity

Thesis - Boise State University Access Only

Degree Title

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering

Department

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Major Advisor

Dr. Maria Mitkova

Abstract

Programmable Metallization Cell (PMC) memory devices are a growing alternative that offers the same functionality as flash memory but at a lower threshold voltage and current. Their operation relies on the formation and dissolution of a metallic link between two electrodes for which the resistance of the device corresponds to the two logic states. In addition to overcoming the scaling issues of the present silicon based solid state memory, PMC memory devices offer a significant reduction in cost, power consumption and heat generation.

This work is aimed at the research of the active medium for PMC devices. Among different solid electrolytes which could be applied, Ge-based chalcogenide glasses as the hosting network were chosen for this particular study. Wet chemistry has been used for thin film preparation and device formation. A complete innovative proof of concept for printing PMC devices with screen printing techniques is presented in this work. In addition, films obtained by thermal evaporation and sputtering have been studied and characterized using the Raman Spectroscopy, Scanning Electron Microscopy and Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy.

The effects of photo radiation, annealing under ambient and vacuum conditions and their respective structural compositional effects have also been analyzed. This analysis is intended to enhance the understanding and optimization of the materials solutions for PMC devices in order to improve their performance.

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