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Intrinsic plasticity of silicon nanowire neurotransistors for dynamic memory and learning functions



E. Baek, N. R. Das, C. V. Cannistraci, T. Rim, G. S. C. Bermúdez, K. Nych, H. Cho, K. Kim, C. K. Baek, D. Makarov, R. Tetzlaff, L. Chua, L. Baraban, and G. Cuniberti

Nature Electronics 3, 398–408 (2020)

Neuromorphic architectures merge learning and memory functions within a single unit cell and in a neuron-like fashion. Research community has mainly focused on the plasticity of artificial synapses. However the intrinsic plasticity of the neuronal membrane is also important in the implementation of neuromorphic information processing. Here, we report a neurotransistor made from a silicon nanowire transistor coated by an ion-doped sol–gel silicate film that can emulate the intrinsic plasticity of the neuronal membrane. The neurotransistors are manufactured using a conventional complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor (CMOS) process on an 8-inch silicon-on-insulator wafer. Mobile ions allow the film to act as a pseudo-gate that generates memory and allows the neurotransistor to display plasticity. We show that multiple pulsed input signals of the neurotransistor are nonlinearly processed by sigmoidal transformation into the output current, resembling the functioning of a neuronal membrane. The output response is governed by the input signal history, which is stored as ionic states within the silicate film, and thereby providing the neurotransistor with learning capabilities.



doi absolute link10.1038/s41928-020-0412-1
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