Forming and breaking a nanometer-sized conductive area are commonly accepted as the physical phenomenon involved in the switching mechanism of oxide resistive random access memories (OxRRAM). This study investigates a state-of-the-art OxRRAM device by in-situ transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Combining high spatial resolution obtained with a very small probe scanned over the area of interest of the sample and chemical analyses with electron energy loss spectroscopy, the local chemical state of the device can be compared before and after applying an electrical bias. This in-situ approach allows simultaneous TEM observation and memory cell operation. After the in-situ forming, a filamentary migration of titanium within the dielectric hafnium dioxide layer has been evidenced. This migration may be at the origin of the conductive path responsible for the low and high resistive states of the memory.

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