The resistive switching in SrZrO3 (SZO) was unraveled based on ab initio calculations.
The conduction channel is due to the formation of ordered oxygen vacancy (VO) row in SZO.
The formation and disruption of VO-row is triggered through electron injection and removal.
SrZrO3 (SZO) is an important recording material for resistance random access memory (RRAM), which is attracted increasing interest for future nonvolatile memory applications. However, the resistive switching (RS) mechanism is not yet fully understood. In this work, by first principles calculations based on the density functional theory, we have investigated the structure and properties of bulk SZO with ordered and disordered oxygen vacancies (VO). Our results show that the formation of oxygen vacancy row (VO-row) results in the defect assisted conduction channel, which is the “ON”-state of SZO RRAM, while the disruption of the ordered VO-row breaks this conduction channel and hence this structure is the “OFF”-state of SZO RRAM. The formation and disruption of VO-row is triggered by the applied electric field through electron injection and removal.