Infrared Nanoimaging of Hydrogenated Perovskite Nickelate Memristive Devices

Sampath Gamage, Sukriti Manna, Marc Zajac, Steven Hancock, Qi Wang, Sarabpreet Singh, Mahdi Ghafariasl, Kun Yao, Tom E. Tiwald, Tae Joon Park, David P. Landau, Haidan Wen, Subramanian K. R. S. Sankaranarayanan, Pierre Darancet, Shriram Ramanathan and Yohannes Abate

ACS Nano 18, 2105 (2024)

Solid-state devices made from correlated oxides, such as perovskite nickelates, are promising for neuromorphic computing by mimicking biological synaptic function. However, comprehending dopant action at the nanoscale poses a formidable challenge to understanding the elementary mechanisms involved. Here, we perform operando infrared nanoimaging of hydrogen-doped correlated perovskite, neodymium nickel oxide (H-NdNiO3, H-NNO), devices and reveal how an applied field perturbs dopant distribution at the nanoscale. This perturbation leads to stripe phases of varying conductivity perpendicular to the applied field, which define the macroscale electrical characteristics of the devices. Hyperspectral nano-FTIR imaging in conjunction with density functional theory calculations unveils a real-space map of multiple vibrational states of H-NNO associated with OH stretching modes and their dependence on the dopant concentration. Moreover, the localization of excess charges induces an out-of-plane lattice expansion in NNO which was confirmed by in situ X-ray diffraction and creates a strain that acts as a barrier against further diffusion. Our results and the techniques presented here hold great potential for the rapidly growing field of memristors and neuromorphic devices wherein nanoscale ion motion is fundamentally responsible for function.