Microscopic Theory of Resistive Switching in Ordered Insulators: Electronic versus Thermal Mechanisms

Jiajun Li, Camille Aron, B Kotliar, Jong E. Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


We investigate the dramatic switch of resistance in ordered correlated insulators when they are driven out of equilibrium by a strong voltage bias. Microscopic calculations on a driven-dissipative lattice of interacting electrons explain the main experimental features of resistive switching (RS), such as the hysteretic I-V curves and the formation of hot conductive filaments. The energy-resolved electron distribution at the RS reveals the underlying nonequilibrium electronic mechanism, namely Landau-Zener tunneling, and also justifies a thermal description in which the hot-electron temperature, estimated from the first moment of the distribution, matches the equilibrium-phase transition temperature. We discuss the tangled relationship between filament growth and negative differential resistance and the influence of crystallographic structure and disorder in the RS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2994-2998
Number of pages5
JournalNano Letters
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 10 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


  • Joule heating
  • Landau−Zener tunneling
  • Resistive switching
  • nonequilibrium Green's function method
  • nonequilibrium-phase transition

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Microscopic Theory of Resistive Switching in Ordered Insulators: Electronic versus Thermal Mechanisms'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this