Temperature-Dependent Contact Resistance to Nonvolatile Memory Materials

Sanchit Deshmukh, Eilam Yalon, Feifei Lian, Kirstin E. Schauble, Feng Xiong, Ilya V. Karpov, Eric Pop

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Emerging nonvolatile memories store data by reversible resistive switching in phase-change materials or metal oxides. As memory cell dimensions are reduced to 10-nm scale or below, electrical contacts can dominate the device behavior, yet are often poorly understood. Here, we study the contact resistance to memory materials Ge2Sb2Te5 (GST), TiO2, and HfO2 with low-current and temperature-dependent measurements. We find that the contact resistivity varies over ten orders of magnitude depending on the material; contact resistivity to cubic GST is near 10-2Ω · cm2 (1000 times greater than the hexagonal GST) while that to HfO2 is as high as 5 × 10^{{5}} Ω · cm2 at room temperature. Contact resistivity decreases with increasing temperature and with increasing current density, the latter due to the non-Ohmic nature of the contacts. These results are important to understand the design, scaling, and behavior of nanoscale data storage devices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8792376
Pages (from-to)3816-3821
Number of pages6
JournalIEEE Transactions on Electron Devices
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Contact resistance
  • nonvolatile memory
  • phase-change memory (PCM)
  • resistive random-access memory (RRAM)

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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