Electrically driven resistance change in metal oxides opens up an interdisciplinary research field for next-generation non-volatile memory. Resistive switching exhibits an electrical polarity dependent "bipolar-switching" and a polarity independent "unipolar-switching", however tailoring the electrical polarity has been a challenging issue. Here we demonstrate a scaling effect on the emergence of the electrical polarity by examining the resistive switching behaviors of Pt/oxide/Pt junctions over 8 orders of magnitudes in the areas. We show that the emergence of two electrical polarities can be categorised as a diagram of an electric field and a cell area. This trend is qualitatively common for various oxides including NiOx, CoOx, and TiO2-x. We reveal the intrinsic difference between unipolar switching and bipolar switching on the area dependence, which causes a diversity of an electrical polarity for various resistive switching devices with different geometries. This will provide a foundation for tailoring resistive switching behaviors of metal oxides.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes