Intensive investigations have been launched worldwide on the resistive switching (RS) phenomena in transition metal oxides due to both fascinating science and potential applications in next generation nonvolatile resistive random access memory (RRAM) devices. It is noteworthy that most of these oxides are strongly correlated electron systems, and their electronic properties are critically affected by the electron-electron interactions. Here, using NiO as an example, we show that rationally adjusting the stoichiometry and the associated defect characteristics enables controlled room temperature conversions between two distinct RS modes, i.e., nonvolatile memory switching and volatile threshold switching, within a single device. Moreover, from first-principles calculations and x-ray absorption spectroscopy studies, we found that the strong electron correlations and the exchange interactions between Ni and O orbitals play deterministic roles in the RS operations.
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