Organic core-sheath nanowire artificial synapses with femtojoule energy consumption

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Science Advances  17 Jun 2016:
Vol. 2, no. 6, e1501326
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1501326

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Emulation of biological synapses is an important step toward construction of large-scale brain-inspired electronics. Despite remarkable progress in emulating synaptic functions, current synaptic devices still consume energy that is orders of magnitude greater than do biological synapses (~10 fJ per synaptic event). Reduction of energy consumption of artificial synapses remains a difficult challenge. We report organic nanowire (ONW) synaptic transistors (STs) that emulate the important working principles of a biological synapse. The ONWs emulate the morphology of nerve fibers. With a core-sheath–structured ONW active channel and a well-confined 300-nm channel length obtained using ONW lithography, ~1.23 fJ per synaptic event for individual ONW was attained, which rivals that of biological synapses. The ONW STs provide a significant step toward realizing low-energy–consuming artificial intelligent electronics and open new approaches to assembling soft neuromorphic systems with nanometer feature size.

  • artificial synapse
  • organic nanowire
  • energy consumption
  • organic electronics
  • bio-inspired electronics
  • short-term plasticity
  • long-term plasticity

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