New Memory Paradigms: Memristive Phenomena and Neuromorphic Applications Faraday Discussion

15 - 17 October 2018, Aachen, Germany

Atomically scaled “smart” devices, artificial intelligence, neuromorphic functions, alternative logic operations and computing, new memory storage paradigms, ultra-fast/bio-inspired/flexible/transparent/energy-efficient nanoelectronics – these contemporary concepts are driving forces for progressive development of science and technology, mirroring society expectations and solving its problems. Inspired by the concept of the memristor (memory + resistor), Redox-based resistive switching Random Access Memories (ReRAM) and Phase Change Memories (PCM) are thought capable of all these operations and functionalities.
ReRAMs and PCMs are an impressive example of energy efficient, (sub-)nanoscale systems based on physicochemical processes (i.e. redox reactions, charge transport/redistribution processes, nucleation and growth, and/or amorphous-crystalline phase transitions), as non-volatile information storage for the next generation nanoelectronic devices. In addition, researchers also aim to use these memristive systems to enable fundamental properties of life, including order, plasticity, response to stimuli, metabolism, homeostasis, growth, heredity or reproduction, based on functionalities of biological systems. ReRAMs and PCMs are considered as single units of such a complex system able to reproduce the behaviour of neurons and synapses. By combining them in a neuromorphic network, they may display short and long term memory, pattern learning and a full brain-like functionality.
Despite the attractiveness and apparent simplicity of the ReRAM/PCM concepts, it is challenging to experimentally approach and theoretically describe the nanoscale systems. The small dimensions lead to difficulties in distinguishing experimental signals from noise, and for example electron/hole currents from Faraday currents. The nanoscale dimensions of the systems also cause inevitable deviations from the classical macroscopic thermodynamic description, transport properties and stability. Approaching atomic dimensions, phase instabilities and instrumentation restrict resolution. As a result, the interpretation of the experimental data is challenging and different explanations of the same observation may often appear scientifically reasonable. Joint efforts by experts in physics, chemistry, biology, materials science, computing and engineering are essential to understand the systems’ behaviour and to formulate general design rules.  
The Faraday Discussion will bring together experts in a field of research which represents one of the hottest multidisciplinary topics, including major players from the computer and nanoelectronics industry, leading academic research groups in physics, chemistry, materials science, thin film technology, device engineering, computer science, neurology and brain-research and logic, and neuromorphic circuit engineering. It will discuss the fundamentals as well as specific demands and limitations in e.g. materials selection, processing, suitable model systems, technical requirements and the potential device applications, providing a bridge for terminologies, theories, models and applications.    


The Faraday Division have been organising high impact Faraday Discussions in rapidly developing areas of the physical sciences, with a focus on physical chemistry and its interfaces with other scientific disciplines for over 100 years

Faraday Discussions have a special format where research papers written by the speakers are distributed to all participants before the meeting, and most of the meeting is devoted to discussing the papers. Everyone contributes to the discussion - including presenting their own relevant research. The research papers and a record of the discussion are published in the journal Faraday Discussions

You can find out more about the Faraday Discussions in this video:


  • Electrochemical metallization ReRAMs (ECM): Experiments and modelling
This session will be discussing the mechanisms of resistive switching, both from the experimental and theoretical points of view. It will cover the factors influencing and enhancing the cell behaviour, performance, stability (retention) and cycling (endurance).
Two most promising types of ReRAM are the electrochemical metallisation memories – ECM (called also CBRAM, PMC or gapless-type atomic switch) which will be discussed in this session, and the valence change memories VCM (called also OxRAM), which will be the focus of the Session 2. These memories differ in that the main mobile species are assumed to be cations (e.g. Ag+, Cu+, etc.) in ECM cells, and anions (oxygen ions) in VCM cells. Application of voltages with different polarities provides the driving force for the filament formation and dissolution. The main challenges to improve device properties, stability and performance are the mesoscopic understanding of the electrochemical processes e.g. reaction/switching kinetics, transport, understanding the fundamental properties of matter at the nano and sub-nanoscale in order to formulate general design rules for materials and systems and these will be discussed in both session. 
  • Valence change ReRAMs (VCM): Experiments and modelling
Following on from Session 1 where we discussed ECM ReRAMS, this second session will focus on the Valence change ReRAMS (VCM), covering the mechanisms of resistive switching both from the experimental and theoretical points of view. We will look at electrochemical processes (rate limiting steps, Joule heating, cation vs anion conductivity,…), atomic and nanoscale characterisation techniques (HRTEM, STM, AFM-based techniques, sensitivity, artefacts, interpretation), the influence of the environment, the completeness and physical relevance of models, materials properties and device design and structures, the importance and influence of interfaces.
  • Phase-change memories (PCM): Experiments and modelling
The session will look at the mechanism of PCM, including newly reported effects indicating dependence on nanoionic processes, field effects, or ultrafast non-thermal phase change. The factors influencing and enhancing the system performance, stability (retention) and cyclability (endurance) will be covered. Discussion areas will likely cover time-dependent shift of electrical properties of the amorphous phase; understanding the fragility of phase-change materials; field effects; interphasial phase-change switching; ultrafast phase transition, new materials.
  • Synaptic and neuromorphic functions

This final session will focus on the applications and properties of ReRAM and PCM memristive systems as artificial synapses, and their other functionalities in neuromorphic networks. This will include the comparison between electrochemical responses of biological synapses and artificial memristive cells; learning abilities and decision making; the factors influencing the responses of memristive cells and the ways to control synaptic activity; hybrid memristive concepts for neurons and synapses; alternative, unconventional logics and computing and bio-inspired networks.


The Faraday Discussion will bring together experts in a field of research which represents one of the hottest multidisciplinary topics, including major players from the computer and nanoelectronics industry, leading academic research groups in physics, chemistry, materials science, thin film technology, device engineering, computer science, neurology and brain-research and logic, and neuromorphic circuit engineering. It will provide a bridge between terminologies, theories, models and applications.

  • Rainer Waser (Introductory Lecture) RWTH Aachen University, Germany
  • R.S Williams (Closing Remarks) Hewlett-Packard Labs, United States
  • Geoffrey Burr IBM Almaden Research, United States
  • Regina Dittman Peter Grünberg Institute, Germany
  • Ludovic Goux imec, Belgium
  • Tsuyoshi Hasegawa Waseda University, Japan
  • Hyunsang Hwang Pohang University of Science and Technology, South Korea
  • Tony Kenyon University College London, United Kingdom
  • Matthias Wuttig RWTH Aachen University, Germany
  • Paola Zuliani ST Microelectronics, Italy

Abstract Submission

Oral Abstracts and Research Papers

A full research paper containing new unpublished results always accompanies oral presentations at Faraday Discussions. Submit an oral/paper abstract by 29 January 2018 if you wish to be considered for an oral presentation and associated published paper. The oral/paper abstract should outline current research in progress. Authors of the selected abstracts must then submit a full research paper with a significant amount of new, unpublished work by 28 May 2018.

The research papers are reviewed upon submission and are sent to all delegates 4 weeks before the meeting so they can be read in advance. At the meeting the presenting author is allowed five minutes to highlight the main points of their paper, and the rest of the time is for discussion. The discussion is recorded and will be published alongside the research paper in the Faraday Discussion Volume.

Poster Abstracts 

Submit your poster abstract by 23 July 2018. Posters are displayed throughout the meeting and a poster session is held on the first evening. The Faraday Division Poster Prize will be awarded to the best poster presented by a student at the conference. 

Additional Information

Authors will be notified of the outcome of the review process within about 6 weeks of the submission deadline. The abstracts should be no longer than one A4 page in portrait layout. Please ensure you provide the details of the presenting author and indicate whether you are submitting an abstract for oral or poster presentation. 
For non-member registrants, affiliate membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry until the end of 2019, the affiliate membership application will be processed and commence once the registrant has attended the event.
We have a limited number of non-competitive travel grants of up to £200 for PhD and early career scientists travelling within their home country. These are assigned on a first come, first served basis and are available to members in the associate category and above.

We also offer grants of up to £800 to assist with travel expenses to participate at this meeting. These are available to members in the associate category and above, who are PhD students, postdocs within 10 years of completing their PhD and early career scientists (including technicians) within 10 years of leaving full time education. 

Applications for either grant should be submitted as early as possible, but at least 8 weeks in advance of the start of the meeting (20 August 2018)
RWTH Aachen

RWTH Aachen, Templergraben 55, Aachen, 52062, Germany

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