Switching (“Memristor”) effects

Memristors are electronic devices whose resistance exhibits a memory of their previous state. First proposed6 in 1971 as a magical fourth circuit element that is complementary to the resistor, inductor, and capacitor, the proposal was largely forgotten, until two years ago the missing memristor was ‘found’.7 This discovery has excited a huge wave of interest, both for fundamental reasons and because of the possibility that these new elements could allow new architectures for integrated circuits (and extensions to Moore’s Law).

In 2013 we demonstrated memristor-like switching behaviour in percolating - tunneling devices10,11.  We have now built on this work to demonstrate brain-like behaviour in our devices.


  1. L. Chua, ‘Memristor - the missing circuit element’, IEEE Trans. Circuit Theory 18, 507 (1971).
  2. D. Strukov, G. Snider, D. Stewart, and R. Williams, ‘The missing memristor found’, Nature 453, 80 (2008).
  3. J. Borghetti, G. Snider, P. Kuekes, J. Yang, D. Stewart and R. Williams, ‘‘Memristive’ switches enable ‘stateful’
    logic operations via material implication’, Nature 464, 873 (2010).
  4. J. Yang, M. Pickett, X. Li, D. Ohlberg, D. Stewart and R. Williams, ‘Memristive switching mechanism for metal/oxide/metal nanodevices’ Nature Nano 3, 429 (2008).
  5. A. Sattar, P. Convers and S. A. Brown, ‘Quantised Conductance in Nanoparticle Switches’, Phys. Rev Lett. 111. 136808 (2013).