Programmable conductance switching and negative differential resistance in nanoscale organic films

Troy Graves-Abe, J. C. Sturm

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Thin (12-nm) self-assembled films of the insulating molecule 11-mercaptoimdecunoic acid (MUA) were contucted by gold electrodes in a sandwich structure, Current-voltage scans of the resulting devices revealed symmetric negative differential resistance (NDR) with peuks at ±3 V and large peak current densities of up to 104 A/cm2. Devices could be programmed reversibly into nonvolatile high- and low-conductance states by applying 1-ms voltage pulses of 4 V and 10 V, respectively; this conductunce could be probed non-destructively with voltages below 2.5 V. A conductance ratio of 103 between the high- and low-conductance states was measured. The NDR is attributed to the dynamic alteration of the device conductivity as the voltuge is scanned. Devices fabricated with one gold and one aluminum electrode displayed NDR only for positive bias on the gold electrode, which supports a model in which the observed programming and NDR is due to the movement of gold in the film leading to the formation and destruction of conductive pathways through the insulating layer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOrganic Thin-Film Electronics
PublisherMaterials Research Society
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)155899825X, 9781558998254
StatePublished - 2005
Event2005 MRS Spring Meeting - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Mar 28 2005Apr 1 2005

Publication series

NameMaterials Research Society Symposium Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0272-9172


Other2005 MRS Spring Meeting
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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