We report on the mechanism of operation of organic thin film resistive memory architectures based on an ambipolar compound consisting of oxadiazole, carbazole, and fluorene units. Cross-sections of the devices have been imaged by electron microscopy both before and after applying a voltage. The micrographs reveal the growth of filaments, with diameters of 50 nm–100 nm, on the metal cathode. We suggest that these are formed by the drift of aluminium ions from the anode and are responsible for the observed switching and negative differential resistance phenomena in the memory devices.
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Focused ion beam and field-emission microscopy of metallic filaments in memory devices based on thin films of an ambipolar organic compound consisting of oxadiazole, carbazole, and fluorene units