Rastko Nastic

Atomic-scale Imaging of Ion Dynamics for the Development of Memristors

A memristor is a device with the property that its electrical resistance depends on the history of applied voltage, and changes with the amount of current that passes through it. This atypical property of history-dependent resistance is analogous to how memory functions. As a result, memristors have been used in applications ranging from non-volatile analog memory to synaptic analogs and neuromorphic computing. However, there is a lack of in-depth understanding of the atomic-scale behavior that causes this property. My project aims to understand how the dominant dynamics, electromigration and ion transport, result in the unique behavior of the resistance. This understanding is a necessary precursor to solving the two main challenges in the current field of memristors: large parameter variability and cycling endurance degradation. I will study the relationship between dynamical defect structures and 2D device behavior by using Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM) to directly image ion dynamics and measure local electronic properties. This will allow for the calculation of diffusion barriers, and for control over different parameters to investigate how memresistivity depends on them.

Message to Sponsor

I’d like to sincerely thank the SURF program and Rose Hills Foundation for the opportunity to conduct my own independent research. My project builds on previous work within my research group, and my goal is to publish a paper from the results of my project. I am very excited to advance the work I have done within the group into a project with meaningful results in an impactful field, and the SURF Rose Hills program is making it possible.
  • Major: Materials Science, Engineering
  • Mentor: Michael Crommie