Programmable digital memory devices based on nanoscale thin films of a thermally dimensionally stable polyimide

Taek Joon Lee, Cha Wen Chang, Suk Gyu Hahm, Kyungtae Kim, Samdae Park, Dong Min Kim, Jinchul Kim, Won Sang Kwon, Guey Sheng Liou, Moonhor Ree

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


We have fabricated electrically programmable memory devices with thermally and dimensionallystable poly(N-(N′,N′-diphenyl-N′-1,4-phenyl)- N,N-4,4′-diphenylene hexafluoroisopropylidene-diphthalimide) (6F-2TPA PI) films and investigated their switching characteristics and reliability. 6F-2TPA PI films were found to reveal a conductivity of 1.0 × 10-13-1.0 × 10-14Scm-1. The 6F-2TPA PI films exhibit versatile memory characteristics that depend on the film thickness. All the PI films are initially present in the OFF state. The PI films with a thickness of >15 to <100nm exhibit excellent write-once-read-many-times (WORM) (i.e.fuse-type) memory characteristics with and without polarity depending on the thickness. The WORM memory devices are electrically stable, even in air ambient, for a very long time. The devices' ON/OFF current ratio is high, up to 1010. Therefore, these WORM memory devices can provide an efficient, low-cost means of permanent data storage. On the other hand, the 100nm thick PI films exhibit excellent dynamic random access memory (DRAM) characteristics with polarity. The ON/OFF current ratio of the DRAM devices is as high as 10 11. The observed electrical switching behaviors were found to be governed by trap-limited space-charge-limited conduction and local filament formation and further dependent on the differences between the highest occupied molecular orbital and the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital energy levels of the PI film and the work functions of the top and bottom electrodes as well as the PI film thickness. In summary, the excellent memory properties of 6F-2TPA PI make it a promising candidate material for the low-cost mass production of high density and very stable digital nonvolatile WORM and volatile DRAM memory devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number135204
Issue number13
StatePublished - 2009

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