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The speed of the SET operation of a Cu/Ta2O5/Pt atomic switch from a high-resistance state to a low-resistance state was measured by transient current measurements under the application of a short voltage pulse. The SET time decreased exponentially with increasing pulse amplitude, reaching as low as 1 ns using moderate pulse voltages. This observation shows that oxide-based atomic switches hold potential for fast-switching memory applications. From a comparison with atomistic nucleation theory, Cu nucleation on the Pt electrode was found to be the likely rate-limiting process determining the SET time.


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