Novel nanoionics devices, atomic switches, have been developed using a solidelectrochemical reaction to control the formation and annihilation of the metal filament between two electrodes. The switching operation can be achieved simply by the application of a bias voltage to precipitate metal atoms in a nanogap between the two electrodes or to dissolve them onto one of the electrodes. The small size of atomic switches enables rapid switching even though atomic motion is required. They also have several novel characteristics in that they are nonvolatile, consume less power, and have a simple structure and a low on-resistance. Logic gates and 1 kbit nonvolatile memory chips have been developed using atomic switches in order to demonstrate the possibilities for improving present-day electronic devices. Their characteristics also enable the fabrication of new types of electronic devices, such as high-performance programmable logic devices that may achieve a multitude of functions on a single chip.
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