Random Telegraph Noise in Metal-Oxide Memristors for True Random Number Generators: A Materials Study

Xuehua Li, Tommaso Zanotti, Tao Wang, Kaichen Zhu, Francesco Maria Puglisi, Mario Lanza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Some memristors with metal/insulator/metal (MIM) structure have exhibited random telegraph noise (RTN) current signals, which makes them ideal to build true random number generators (TRNG) for advanced data encryption. However, there is still no clear guide on how essential manufacturing parameters like materials selection, thicknesses, deposition methods, and device lateral size can influence the quality of the RTN signal. In this paper, an exhaustive statistical analysis on the quality of the RTN signals produced by different MIM-like memristors is reported, and straightforward guidelines for the fabrication of memristors with enhanced RTN performance are presented, which are: i) Ni and Ti electrodes show better RTN than Au electrodes, ii) the 50 μm × 50 μm devices show better RTN than the 5 μm × 5 μm ones, iii) TiO2 shows better RTN than HfO2 and Al2O3, iv) sputtered-oxides show better RTN than ALD-oxides, and v) 10 nm thick oxides show better RTN than 5 nm thick oxides. The RTN signals recorded have been used as entropy sources in high-throughput TRNG circuits, which have passed the randomness tests of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The work can serve as a useful guide for materials scientists and electronic engineers when fabricating MIM-like memristors for RTN applications.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2102172
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
StatePublished - Apr 23 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Electrochemistry
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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