A switching from a high-conduction state to a low-conduction state occurs in an AlN thin film containing Al nanocrystals (nc-Al) when the nc-Al is charged with electrons. The switching is explained in terms of breaking of the conductive percolation paths of the nc-Al as a result of the charging of the nc-Al. A write-once-read many times-memory (WORM) device is demonstrated based on this phenomenon. The device can be switched by charging the nc-Al with a voltage of +10 V for 100 ms, yielding a current ratio of the two memory states of more than 300 at the reading voltage of 1 V. The charged state (i.e., the low-conduction state) remains unchanged after more than 1 × 106 read cycles, and its retention time is predicted to be more than 10 years.
Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.