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ABSTRACT
Memristor is the short form of Memory Resistor. That is a resistor having memory.A memristor is a non-linear resistor, a resistor whose resistance changes over time based on the amount of current that has passed through it. The resistance depends upon the magnitude and polarity of the voltage applied to it and the length of time that voltage has been applied. When the voltage is turned off the memristor remembers its most recent resistance until the next time it is turned on. It is considered as the missing link of electronics engineering as this device completes the relationship between voltage, current, charge and flux in a circuit. Therefore memristor is considered as the fourth fundamental component of electronics. The other fundamental components are resistor, capacitor and inductor. Memristor cannot be represented by any circuit that is made by the other components. Hence it is called as fourth fundamental component of electronics.Due to its special properties this component is used for making nonvolatile memories. Also because of its similarities to synapse in brain, it plays an important role in the development of artificial brain.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT 2. INTODUCTION 3. FUNDAMENTAL ELEMENTS OF ELECTRONICS 4. THE MISSING LINK 5. MEMRISTANCE 6. MEMRISTOR:THEORY AND PROPERTIES 7. WORKING OF MEMRISTOR 8. POTENTIAL APPLICATIONS 9. CONCLUSION 10.REFERENCE 3 4 5 11 13 14 20 24 26 25

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INTRODUCTION
Generally the world of electronics was built on its known fundamental components namely resistor, capacitor and inductor. Any complex circuits or devices can be by these three components. These components relate the four fundamental circuit quantities namely charge, current, voltage and magnetic flux to one another by pair wise mathematical equations. In 1971 Dr. Leon O. Chua discovered a missing link in these relation. The relation between charge and magnetic flux was missing. To make this relation Chua made a hypothetical device that satisfies the conditions. Chua demonstrated mathematically that this device would provide a relationship between flux and charge. In practice that would mean the devices resistance would vary according to charge that passed through it. And it will remember the resistance value even after the current was turned off. Also he noticed that these behavior reminded him of the way synapses function in the brain. Due to all these unique properties, memristor is known as the fourth fundamental component of electronics. That is memristor cannot be represented by the other three fundamental components. And the discovery of these new material give usa wide area of possibilities such as developing artificial brain, nonvolatile memory and keeping Moores law for another decade etc.

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FUNDAMENTAL ELEMENTS OF ELECTRONICS


1 .RESISTOR

A resistor is a two-terminalelectronic component that produces a voltage across its terminals that is proportional to the electric current through it in accordance with Ohm's law which states Voltage (V) across a resistor is proportional to the current (I) through it where the constant of proportionality is the resistance (R).

V = IR

Electronic symbol

(Europe)

(US)

Resistors are elements of electrical networks and electronic circuits and are ubiquitous in most electronic equipment. Practical resistors can be made of various compounds and films, as well as resistance wire (wire made of a high-resistivity alloy, such as nickel/chrome). The primary characteristics of a resistor are the resistance, the tolerance, maximum working voltage and the power rating. Other characteristics include temperature coefficient, noise, and inductance. Less well-known is critical resistance, the value below which power dissipation
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limits the maximum permitted current flow, and above which the limit is applied voltage. Critical resistance depends upon the materials constituting the resistor as well as its physical dimensions; it's determined by design.

2. CAPACITOR

A capacitor or condenser is a passiveelectronic component consisting of a pair of conductors separated by a dielectric. When a voltagepotential difference exists between the conductors, an electric field is present in the dielectric. This field stores energy and produces a mechanical force between the plates. The effect is greatest between wide, flat, parallel, narrowly separated conductors. An ideal capacitor is characterized by a single constant value, capacitance, which is measured in farads. This is the ratio of the electric charge on each conductor to the potential difference between them. In practice, the dielectric between the plates passes a small amount of leakage current. The conductors and leads introduce an equivalent series resistance and the dielectric has an electric field strength limit resulting in a breakdown voltage. Capacitors are widely used in electronic circuits to block the flow of direct current while allowing alternating current to pass, to filter out interference, to smooth the output of power supplies, and for many other purposes. They are used in resonant circuits in radio frequency equipment to select particular frequencies from a signal with many frequencies.

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ELECTRONIC SYMBOL

CURRENT-VOLTAGE RELATION
The current i (t ) through a component in an electric circuit is defined as the rate of change of the charge q (t ) that has passed through it. Physical charges cannot pass through the dielectric layer of a capacitor, but rather build up in equal and opposite quantities on the electrodes: as each electron accumulates on the negative plate, one leaves the positive plate. Thus the accumulated charge on the electrodes is equal to the integral of the current, as well as being proportional to the voltage (as discussed above). As with any antiderivative, a constant of integration is added to represent the initial voltage v (t0). This is the integral form of the capacitor equation,

. Taking the derivative of this, and multiplying by C, yields the derivative form,

. The dual of the capacitor is the inductor, which stores energy in the magnetic field rather than the electric field. Its current-voltage relation is obtained by exchanging current and voltage in the capacitor equations and replacing C with the inductance L.

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3. INDUCTOR

An inductor or

a reactor is

a passive electrical

component that

can

store energy in a magnetic field created by the electric current passing through it. An inductor's ability to store magnetic energy is measured by its inductance, in units of henries. Typically an inductor is a conducting wire shaped as a coil, the loops helping to create a strong magnetic field inside the coil due to Faraday's law of induction. Inductors are one of the basic electronic components used in electronics where current and voltage change with time, due to the ability of inductors to delay and reshape alternating currents Inductance (L) (measured in henries) is an effect resulting from the magnetic field that forms around a current-carrying conductor that tends to resist changes in the current. Electric current through the conductor creates a magnetic flux proportional to the current. A change in this current creates a change in magnetic flux that, in turn, by Faraday's law generates an electromotive force (EMF) that acts to oppose this change in current. Inductance is a measure of the amount of EMF generated for a unit change in current. For example, an inductor with an inductance of 1 henry produces an EMF of 1 volt when the current through the inductor changes at the rate of 1 ampere per second. The number of loops, the size of each loop, and the material it is wrapped around all affect the inductance. An inductor opposes changes in current. An ideal inductor would offer no resistance to a constant direct current; however, only superconducting inductors have truly zero electrical resistance. In general, the relationship between the time-varying voltage v(t) across an inductor with inductance L and the time-varying current i(t) passing through it is described by the differential equation:

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. Inductors are used extensively in analog circuits and signal processing. Inductors in conjunction with capacitors and other components form tuned circuits which can emphasize or filter out specific signal frequencies. Applications range from the use of large inductors in power supplies, which in conjunction with filter capacitors remove residual hums known as the Mains hum or other fluctuations from the direct current output, to the small inductance of the ferrite bead or torus installed around a cable to prevent radio frequency interference from being transmitted down the wire. Smaller inductor/capacitor combinations provide tuned circuits used in radio reception and broadcasting. Two (or more) inductors which have coupled magnetic flux form a transformer, which is a fundamental component of every electric utility power grid. The efficiency of a transformer may decrease as the frequency increases due to eddy currents in the core material and skin effect on the windings. Size of the core can be decreased at higher frequencies and, for this reason, aircraft use 400 hertz alternating current rather than the usual 50 or 60 hertz, allowing a great saving in weight from the use of smaller transformers. An inductor is used as the energy storage device in some switched-mode power supplies. The inductor is energized for a specific fraction of the regulator's switching frequency, and deenergized for the remainder of the cycle. This energy transfer ratio determines the inputvoltage to output-voltage ratio. This XL is used in complement with an active semiconductor device to maintain very accurate voltage control. Inductors are also employed in electrical transmission systems, where they are used to depress voltages from lightning strikes and to limit switching currents and fault current. In this field, they are more commonly referred to as reactors.

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THE MISSING LINK


From the beginning of electronics this field was based upon the devices which were called as the fundamental components of electronics. These components were discussed in the previous chapter. Every other known circuits or elements were to be able to simplify in terms of the fundamental components. These were called as fundamental because each of these devices cannot be represented in terms of any other. The importance of these components is that they are the constants that connect the four circuit quantities namely charge, current, voltage and magnetic flux through pairwise mathematical equations. These can be related in six ways. Two are connected through the basic physical laws of electricity and magnetism, and three are related by the known circuit elements: resistors connect voltage and current, inductors connect flux and current, and capacitors connect voltage and charge. But one equation is missing from this group: the relationship between charge moving through a circuit and the magnetic flux surrounded by that circuit

The relation between these fundamental elements can be shown as :

Voltage (v)

RESISTOR

(v=Ri)

Current (i)

CAPACITOR

INDUCTOR

(v=d/dt) (q=Cv)
Charge (q)

(i=dq/dt)

=Li

? ?

Flux ()

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In 1971 Leon Chua, a professor of electrical engineering at the university of California, discovered this missing link.Conceptually, it was easy to grasp how electric charge could couple to magnetic flux, but there was no obvious physical interaction between charge and the integral over the voltage. Chua started his research to connect these physical quantities by introducing a hypothetical device. Chua demonstrated mathematically that his hypothetical device would provide a relationship between flux and charge similar to what a nonlinear resistor provides between voltage and current. In practice, that would mean the devices resistance would vary according to the amount of charge that passed through it. And it would remember that resistance value even after the current was turned off. These could create way for a new fundamental component in the field of electronics. The new component fills the missing link between charge and magnetic flux.

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MEMRISTANCE
After the hypothesis made by Leon Chua, many researchers concentrated on the new element and its existence. Many asked that why this phenomenon remained undiscovered for this much years.But even before Chua had his discovery, however, many researchers were reporting what they called anomalous current-voltage behaviour in the micrometre-scale devices they had built out of unconventional materials, like polymers and metal oxides.But these were considered as some mysterious electrochemical reaction, electrical breakdown, or other spurious phenomenon attributed to the high voltages that researchers were applying to their devices. As it turns out, a great many of these reports were unrecognized examples of memristance. But then why it was not discovered? The answer is that its all about scale. We now know that memristance is an intrinsic property of any electronic circuit. Its existence could have been deduced by Gustav Kirchhoff or by James Clerk Maxwell, if either had considered nonlinear circuits in the 1800s. But the scales at which electronic devices have been built for most of the past two centuries have prevented experimental observation of the effect. It turns out that the influence of memristance obeys an inverse square law: memristance is a million times as important at the nanometer scale as it is at the micrometer scale, and its essentially unobservable at the millimetre scale and larger. As we build smaller and smaller devices, memristance is becoming more noticeable and in some cases dominant. Thats what accounts for all those strange results researchers have described. Memristance has been hidden in plain sight all along.

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MEMRISTOR: THEORY AND PROPERTIES


Definition of Memristor
o The Memristor is formally defined as a two-terminal element in which the magnetic flux m between the terminals is a function of the amount of electric charge q that has passed through the device.

Electronic Symbol c

Chua defined the element as a resistor whose resistance level was based on the amount of charge that had passed through the Memristor

Memristance
o Memristance is a property of an electronic component to retain its resistance level even after power had been shut down or lets it remember (or recall) the last resistance it had before being shut off.

ChuasTheory
o Each Memristor is characterized by its memristance function describing the charge-dependent rate of change of flux with charge.

As we know from, Faraday's law of induction that magnetic flux is simply the time integral of voltage, and charge is the time integral of current, we may write the more convenient

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o It can be inferred from this that memristance is simply charge-dependent resistance. . i.e. ,

V(t) = M(q(t))*I(t)
This equation reveals that memristance defines a linear relationship between current and voltage, as long as charge does not vary. Of course, nonzero current implies instantaneously varying charge. Alternating current, however, may reveal the linear dependence in circuit operation by inducing a measurable voltage without net charge movementas long as the maximum change in q does not cause much change in M.

CURRENT VS. VOLTAGE CHARACTERISTICS

o This new circuit element shares many of the properties of resistors and shares the same unit of measurement (ohms). However, in contrast to ordinary resistors, in which the resistance is permanently fixed, memristance may be programmed or switched to different resistance states based on the history of the voltage applied to the memristance material. This phenomena can be understood graphically in terms of the relationship between the current flowing through aMemristor and the voltage applied across the Memristor. o In ordinary resistors there is a linear relationship between current and voltage so that a graph comparing current and voltage results in a straight line. However, for Memristors a similar graph is a little more complicated. It illustrates the current vs. voltage behavior of memristance.

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Current vs. Voltage curve demonstrating hysteretic effects of memristance.

o In contrast to the straight line expected from most resistors the behavior of a Memristor appear closer to that found in hysteresis curves associated with magnetic materials. As observed above that two straight line segments are formed within the curve. These two straight line curves may be interpreted as two distinct resistance states with the remainder of the curve as transition regions between these two states.

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HYSTERESIS MODEL
Hysteresis model illustrates an idealized resistance behavior demonstrated in accordance with above curretnt-voltage characteristic wherein the linear regions correspond to a relatively high resistance (RH) and low resistance (RL) and the transition regions are represented by straight lines.

Fig: Idealized hysteresis model of resistance vs. voltage for memristance switch.

Thus for voltages within a threshold region (-VL2<V<VL1 in Fig. 4) either a high or low resistance exists for the Memristor. For a voltage above threshold V L1 the resistance switches from a high to a low level and for a voltage of opposite polarity above threshold V L2 the resistance switches back to a high resistance.

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THE COUPLED VARIABLE-RESISTOR MODEL FOR A MEMRISTOR

The Diagram with a simplified equivalent circuit. V, voltmeter; A, ammeter. Applied voltage and resulting current as a function of time t for a typical memristor

The equation given below describes the memristance of any device as a function of charge :

where Ron M(q) = Memristance of a device as a function of charge Roff = High resistance state = Low resistance state v = Mobility of charge q(t) = Charge flowing thorgh device at any time t
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= Thickness of semiconductor film sandwiched between two metal conatcts

For any material, this term is 1,000,000 times larger in absolute values at nanometer scale then is at micrometer scale because of factor 1/D2 and memristance is correspondingly more significant. So it was not possible to get the feel of memristance at millimeterscale, that is why it took 30 years to discover this nanoscale component.

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WORKING OF MEMRISTOR
Semiconductors are doped to make them either p-type or n-type. For example, if silicon is doped with arsenic, it become n-type. However, when we apply an electric field to piece of n-type silicon, the ionized arsenics atoms sitting inside the silicon lattice will not move. We do not want them to move, in any case. Pure titanium dioxide (TiO2), which is also a semiconductor, has high resistance, just as in the case of intrinsic silicon, and it can also be doped to make it conducting. If an oxygen atom, which is negatively charged, is removed from its substantial site in TiO2, a positively charged oxygen vacancy is created(V0+) is created , which act as a donor of electrons. These positively charged oxygen vacancies (V0+) can be in the direction of current applying electric field. Taking advantage of this ionic transport, a sandwich of thin conducting and non-conducting layers of TiO2 was used to release memristor

Fig : Conduction mechanism in a memristor


(a) Broader electronic barrier when a negative potential is applied to electrode A (b) Thin electronic barrier when a positive potential is applied to electrode A Consider, we have two thin layers of TiO2, one highly conducting layer with lots of oxygen vacancies(V0+ ) and the other layer undoped, which is highly resistive. Suppose that good ohmic contact are formed using platinum electrodes on either side of sandwich of TiO2 .the electronics barrier between the undoped TiO2 and the metal looks broader. The situation remains the same, even when a negative potential I applied to electrode A, because the positively charged oxygen vacancies(V0+) are attracted towards electrode A and the length of

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undoped region increases. Under these conditions the electronics barrier at the undoped TiO2 and the metal is still too wide and it will be difficult for the electrons to cross over the barrier. However, when a positive potential is applied at electrode A the positively charged oxygen vacancies are repelled and moved into the undoped TiO2. This ionic movement towards electrode B reduces the length of undoped region. When more positively charged oxygen vacancies(V0+) reach the TiO2 metalinterface, the potential barrier for the electrons become very narrow, as shown, making tunneling through the barrier a real possibility. This leads to a large current flow, making the device turn ON. In this case, the positively charged oxygen vacancies (V0+) are present across the length of device. When the polarity of the applied voltage is reversed, the oxygen vacancies can be pushed back into their original place on the doped side, restoring the broader electronic barrier at TiO2 metal interface. This forces the device to turn OFF due to an increase in the resistance of the device and reduce possibility for carrier tunneling . The speciality of Memristor is not just that it can be turned OFF or ON, but, that it can actually remember the previous state. This is because when the applied bias is removed, the positively charged Ti ions (which are actually the oxygen deficient sites) do not move anymore, making the boundary between the doped and undoped layers TiO2 immobile. When we next apply a bias (positive or neagtive ) to the device , it starts from where it was left. Unlike in the case of typical semoconductors, such as silicon in which only mobile carrier moves, in the case of memristorbith the ionic and the electron movement, into the undoped TiO2 and out of undopedTiO2 are responsible for the hysterisis in its cuurentvoltage charactericstics.

ANALOGOUS SYSTEM
In William switches, the upper resistor was made of pure semiconductor, and the lower of the oxygen-deficient material metal. Applying a voltage to the device pushes charged bubbles up from the metal, radically reducing the semiconductors resisitance and making it into a full-blown conductor. A voltage applied in the other direction starts the merry-go-round revolving the other way: the bubbles drain back into the lower layer, and the upper layer reverts to a high resistance, semiconducting state.
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The crucial thing is that, every time when the voltage is switched off, the merry-go-round stops and the resistance is frozen. When the voltage is switched on again, the system remembers where it was, waking up in the same resistance state. The analogous system of memory resistor or memristor is perfectly explained, assuming that memristor behaves like a pipe whose diameter varies according to the amount and direction of current passing through it.

FIG: A RESISTOR WITH MEMORY BEHAVES LIKE A PIPE


The diameter of pipe remains same when the current is switched off, until it is switched on again. The pipe, when the current is switched on again, remembers what current has flowed through it.

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POTENTIAL APPLICATIONS
1. NANO-SCALE NATURE
The main objective in the electronic chip design is to move computing beyond the physical and fiscal limits of conventional silicon chips. For decades, increases in chip performance have come about largely by putting more and more transistors on a circuit. Higher densities, however, increase the problems of heat generation and defects and affect the basic physics of the devices. Instead of increasing the number of transistors on a circuit, we could create a hybrid circuit with fewer transistors but with the addition of Memristors which could add functionality. Alternately, Memristor technologies could enable more energy-efficient high-density circuits. Memristor, was not been seen before because the effect depends on atomic-scale movements, it only poped up on the nanoscale of Williams devices. Information can be written into the material as the resistance state of the memristor in a few nanoseconds using few picojoules of energy- as good as anything needs to be. And once written memory stays written even when the power is shut.

2. REPLACEMENT OF FLASH MEMORY


The important potential use of memristor is as a powerful replacement for flash memorythe kind used in applications that require quick writing and rewriting capabilities, such as in cameras and USB memory sticks. Like flash memory, memristiev memory can only be written 10,000 times or so before the constant atomic movements within the device cause it to break down. It is possible to improve the durability of memristors.

3. REPLACEMENT FOR DRAM

Computers using conventional D-RAM lack the ability to retain information once they are turned off. When power is restored to a D-RAM-based computer, a slow, energy-consuming "boot-up" process is necessary to retrieve data stored on a magnetic disk required to run the
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system. the reason computers have to be rebooted every time they are turned on is that their logic circuits are incapable of holding their bits after the power is shut off. But because a Memristor can remember voltages, a Memristor-driven computer would arguably never need a reboot. You could leave all your Word files and spreadsheets open, turn off your computer, and go get a cup of coffee or go on vacation for two weeks.

4. BRAIN-LIKE SYSTEMS
As for the human brain-like characteristics, Memristor technology could one day lead to computer systems that can remember and associate patterns in a way similar to how people do. This could be used to substantially improve facial recognition technology or to provide more complex biometric recognition systems that could more effectively restrict access to personal information. These same pattern-matching capabilities could enable appliances that learn from experience and computers that can make decisions. It is observed that the complex electrical response of synapses to the ebb and flow of potassium and sodium ions across the membrance of eeach cell which allows thw synapses to alter their respose according to the frequency and strength of the signals. It looked maddeningly similar to the response a memristor would produce.

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CONCLUSION
Memristor is a unique device that can create a new era in the electronics field. By redesigning certain types of circuits to include Memristors, it is possible to obtain the same function with fewer components, making the circuit itself less expensive and significantly decreasing its power consumption.The Hewlett-Packard (HP) group is looking at developing a Memristor-based nonvolatile memory that could be 1000 times faster than magnetic disks and use much less power.In fact, it can be hoped to combine Memristors with traditional circuit-design elements to produce a device that does computation. The most important significance of memristor is in the field of artificial intelligence. Due to the similarity of memristor to the synaptic function in brain, it can be used to create artificial brains which can create a revolution in technology.

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REFERENCE
This paper appears in: Spectrum,IEEE, IssueDate: Dec.2008, Volume: 45 Issue: 12, On page(s): 28 - 35 , ISSN: 0018-9235, Cited by : 12, INSPEC Accession, Number: 10359126,Digital Object Identifier: 10.1109/MSPEC.2008.46873666 , Date of Current Version: 02 December 2008 R. Stanley Williams

A Note on Memristors, George F. Oster, Letters To The Editor, IEEE Transactions On Circuit Theory, January 1974.

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