Random nanowire networks (NWNs) are regarded as promising memristive materials for applications in information storage, selectors, and neuromorphic computing. The further insight to understand their resistive switching properties and conduction mechanisms is crucial to realize the full potential of random NWNs. Here, a novel planar memristive device based on necklace-like structure Ag@TiO2 NWN is reported, in which a strategy only using water to tailor the TiO2 shell on Ag core for necklace-like core-shell structure is developed to achieve uniform topology connectivity. With analyzing the influence of compliance current on resistive switching characteristics and further tracing evolution trends of resistance state during the repetitive switching cycles, two distinctive evolution trends of low resistance state failure and high resistance state failure are revealed, which bear resemblance to memory loss and consolidation in biological systems. The underlying conduction mechanisms are related to the modulation of the Ag accumulation dynamics inside the filaments at cross-point junctions within conductive paths of NWNs. An optimizing principle is then proposed to design reproducible and reliable threshold switching devices by tuning the NWN density and electrical stimulation. The optimized threshold switching devices have a high ON/OFF ratio of ~107 with threshold voltage as low as 0.35 V. This work will provide insights into engineering random NWNs for diverse functions by modulating external excitation and optimizing NWN parameters to satisfy specific applications, transforming from neuromorphic systems to threshold switching devices as selectors.© 2021 IOP Publishing Ltd.
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