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Understanding 2D material memristors by atomic resolution imaging

   Department of Physics

  Dr Alex Robertson  Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The relentless advance of Moore's Law, and the evermore powerful computational capabilities it has gifted us through continued device miniaturisation, will soon cease. We cannot shrink our current silicon-based electronics much further. Designing new devices beyond the traditional MOSFET, realising the potential of new materials, and even developing entirely new computational architectures, will all be necessary to ensure continued progress in computing power.

Resistive memory (ReRAM, also known as memristors) are a memory where the on and off states correspond to different resistances toggled by an applied potential. They are an emerging device of interest in 'beyond Moore' electronics, with potential applications in high-speed memory and neuromorphic 'brain-like' computing. New 2D materials, like monolayer MoS2, can now be used to make these devices atomically thin. However, there remains significant ambiguity over the atomic mechanisms behind this resistive switching property. Understanding this process at the fundamental atomic level would allow us to engineer better devices.

This PhD project will use the state-of-the-art atomic resolution imaging facilities available at Warwick University to diagnose these underpinning mechanisms and thus inform the design of next-generation electronic devices. We will conduct transmission electron microscopy (TEM) imaging of 2D material ReRAM devices while they are being operated inside the microscope. These operando experiments will directly reveal the atomic mechanisms that occur inside an operational memristor. The student will benefit from training in 2D material preparation and handling, semiconductor device fabrication, and TEM imaging techniques, as well as international collaboration with partners in Korea.

For further information and details of how to apply, please see our postgraduate admissions website: Postgraduate - Department of Physics (

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