Origin of hysteresis in resistive switching in magnetite is Joule heating

A. A. Fursina, R. G.S. Sofin, I. V. Shvets, D. Natelson

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49 Citations (Scopus)


In many transition-metal oxides the electrical resistance is observed to undergo dramatic changes induced by large biases. In magnetite, Fe3 O4, below the Verwey temperature, an electric-field-driven transition to a state of lower resistance was recently found, with hysteretic current-voltage response. We report the results of pulsed electrical conduction measurements in epitaxial magnetite thin films. We show that while the high- to low-resistance transition is driven by electric field, the hysteresis observed in I-V curves results from Joule heating in the low-resistance state. The shape of the hysteresis loop depends on pulse parameters and reduces to a hysteresis-free "jump" of the current provided thermal relaxation is rapid compared to the time between voltage pulses. A simple relaxation-time thermal model is proposed that captures the essentials of the hysteresis mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
Article number245131
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - Jun 26 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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