Aluminum/Al2O3/polymer/metal capacitors submitted to a low-power constant current stress undergo dielectric breakdown. The post-breakdown conduction is metastable, and over time the capacitors recover their original insulating properties. The decay of the conduction with time follows a power law (1/t)α. The magnitude of the exponent α can be raised by application of an electric field and lowered to practically zero by optical excitation of the polyspirofluorene polymer. The metastable conduction is attributed to formation of metastable pairs of oppositely charged defects across the oxide-polymer interface, and the self-healing is related to resistive switching.

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