The atomic switch

Masakazu Aono*, Tsuyoshi Hasegawa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


An atomic switch is a nanoionic device that controls the diffusion of metal ions and their reduction/oxidation processes in the switching operation to form/annihilate a metal atomic bridge, which is a conductive path between two electrodes in anon-state. Since metal atoms can provide a highly conductive channel even if their size is in the nanometer scale, atomic switches may enable downscaling to smaller than the 11-nm technology node. Two-terminal atomic switches have the potential for use in memories and programmable switches. Three-terminal atomic switches, where the formation/annihilation of a metal atomic bridge between a source electrode and a drain electrode are controlled by a third (gate) electrode, work as nonvolatile transistors. Recent development of two-terminal atomic switches that use a metal oxide as the ionic conductive material, in which a metal atomic bridge is formed, has enabled the integration of atomic switches with complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) devices. Also introduced are the novel characteristics of atomic switches, such as their small size, low power consumption, lowon -resistance, nonvolatility, and learning abilities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5557741
Pages (from-to)2228-2236
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of the IEEE
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Dec
Externally publishedYes


  • Atomic switch
  • electrochemical devices
  • nanoionics devices
  • nonvolatile memories
  • three-terminal switch
  • two-terminal switch

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'The atomic switch'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this