This study investigates the resistive switching characteristics and underlying mechanism in 2D layered hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) dielectric films using conductive atomic force microscopy. A combination of bipolar and threshold resistive switching is observed consistently on multi-layer h-BN/Cu stacks in the low power regime with current compliance (I) of less than 100 nA. Standard random telegraph noise signatures were observed in the low resistance state (LRS), similar to the trends in oxygen vacancy-based RRAM devices. While h-BN appears to be a good candidate in terms of switching performance and endurance, it performs poorly in terms of retention lifetime due to the self-recovery of LRS state (similar to recovery of soft breakdown in oxide-based dielectrics) that is consistently observed at all locations without requiring any change in the voltage polarity for I~1-100 nA.
PMID: 29434292 [PubMed - in process]