As an emerging technology, memristors are nanoionic-based electrochemical systems that retains their resistance state based on the history of the applied voltage/current. They can be used for on-chip memory and storage, biologically inspired computing, and in-memory computing. However, the underlying physicochemical processes of memristors still need deeper understanding for the optimization of the device properties to meet the practical application requirements. Herein, we review recent progress in understanding the memristive mechanisms and influential factors for the optimization of memristive switching performances. We first describe the working mechanisms of memristors, including the dynamic processes of active metal ions, native oxygen ions and other active ions in ECM cells, VCM devices and ion gel-based devices, and the switching mechanisms in organic devices, along with discussions on the influential factors of the device performances. The optimization of device properties by electrode/interface engineering, types/configurations of dielectric materials and bias scheme is then illustrated. Finally, we discuss the current challenges and the future development of the memristor.
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