Ionizing Radiation Effects on Nonvolatile Memory Properties of Programmable Metallization Cells

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The impact of ionizing radiation on the retention and endurance of programmable metallization cells (PMC) ReRAM cells is investigated and presented for the first time, with additional work on resistance switching. This study shows that 60Co gamma-ray exposure has a minimal effect on the retention of PMC devices, up to a total ionizing dose (TID) of 2.8 Mrad (Ge30Se70), the maximum TID level tested. The retention of both high resistance states (HRS) and low resistance states (LRS) during exposure was tested. Endurance appears to be slightly reduced with gamma-ray exposure. The endurance was tested to maximum TID of 4.62 Mrad (Ge30Se70). DC response characterizations were also performed on PMC devices after cumulative dose exposures with 50 MeV protons and 100 keV electrons. The data show that PMCs are most sensitive to proton irradiation incident from the backside of the device. For the electron exposures, it is shown that the LRS is mostly unaffected, but the HRS drifts to lower resistance values with an increase in radiation exposure.


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