Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Organic transistor paves way for new generations of neuro-inspired computers

Date:
January 29, 2010
Source:
CNRS
Summary:
For the first time, researchers have developed a transistor that can mimic the main functionalities of a synapse. This organic transistor, based on pentacene and gold nanoparticles and known as a NOMFET (Nanoparticle Organic Memory Field-Effect Transistor), has opened the way to new generations of neuro-inspired computers, capable of responding in a manner similar to the nervous system.

A newly developed organic transistor has opened the way to new generations of neuro-inspired computers, capable of responding in a manner similar to the nervous system.
Credit: iStockphoto/Andrey Volodin

For the first time, CNRS(1) and CEA(2) researchers have developed a transistor that can mimic the main functionalities of a synapse(3). This organic transistor, based on pentacene(4) and gold nanoparticles and known as a NOMFET (Nanoparticle Organic Memory Field-Effect Transistor), has opened the way to new generations of neuro-inspired computers, capable of responding in a manner similar to the nervous system.

The study is published in the 22 January 2010 issue of the journal Advanced Functional Materials.

In the development of new information processing strategies, one approach consists in mimicking the way biological systems such as neuron networks operate to produce electronic circuits with new features. In the nervous system, a synapse is the junction between two neurons, enabling the transmission of electric messages from one neuron to another and the adaptation of the message as a function of the nature of the incoming signal (plasticity). For example, if the synapse receives very closely packed pulses of incoming signals, it will transmit a more intense action potential. Conversely, if the pulses are spaced farther apart, the action potential will be weaker.

It is this plasticity that the researchers have succeeding in mimicking with the NOMFET.

A transistor, the basic building block of an electronic circuit, can be used as a simple switch -- it can then transmit, or not, a signal -- or instead offer numerous functionalities (amplification, modulation, encoding, etc.).

The innovation of the NOMFET resides in the original combination of an organic transistor and gold nanoparticles. These encapsulated nanoparticles, fixed in the channel of the transistor and coated with pentacene, have a memory effect that allows them to mimic the way a synapse works during the transmission of action potentials between two neurons. This property therefore makes the electronic component capable of evolving as a function of the system in which it is placed. Its performance is comparable to the seven CMOS transistors (at least) that have been needed until now to mimic this plasticity.

The devices produced have been optimized to nanometric sizes in order to be able to integrate them on a large scale. Neuro-inspired computers produced using this technology are capable of functions comparable to those of the human brain.

Unlike silicon computers, widely used in high performance computing, neuro-inspired computers can resolve much more complex problems, such as visual recognition.

Notes

(1) Institut d'Electronique, de Microélectronique et de Nanotechnologie (CNRS / Université Lille1 / Université de Valenciennes / Isen Recherche).

(2) Institut CEA LIST, dedicated to technological research on digital systems.

(3) The synapse designates a functional contact area that is established between two neurons, or between a neuron and another cell. It assures the conversion of an action potential triggered in the neuron in front of the cell, which transmits this signal to perform a function.

(4) Chemical compound (C22H14) of the family of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, consisting of five linearly-fused benzene rings. This extended conjugation, together with a favorable crystal structure, is responsible for its properties as a good organic p-type (electron donor) semiconductor.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by CNRS. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Fabien Alibart, Stéphane Pleutin, David Guérin, Christophe Novembre, Stéphane Lenfant, Kamal Lmimouni, Christian Gamrat and Dominique Vuillaume. An Organic Nanoparticle Transistor Behaving as a Biological Spiking Synapse. Advanced Functional Materials, 2010; 20 (2): 330 DOI: 10.1002/adfm.200901335

Cite This Page:

CNRS. "Organic transistor paves way for new generations of neuro-inspired computers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 January 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100125122101.htm>.
CNRS. (2010, January 29). Organic transistor paves way for new generations of neuro-inspired computers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100125122101.htm
CNRS. "Organic transistor paves way for new generations of neuro-inspired computers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100125122101.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Computers & Math News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ballmer Leaves Microsoft's Board, Has Advice For Nadella

Ballmer Leaves Microsoft's Board, Has Advice For Nadella

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) — In a letter to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Ballmer said he's leaving the board of directors and offered tips on how the company can be successful. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Google Can Gain From Special Accounts For Children

What Google Can Gain From Special Accounts For Children

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) — Google will reportedly offer official accounts for children younger than 13 years old. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakingviews: Ebola's Economic Impact Could Eclipse SARS

Breakingviews: Ebola's Economic Impact Could Eclipse SARS

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 18, 2014) — The virus ravaging Africa has yet to spread elsewhere. Yet Asia’s SARS crisis in 2003 showed how changes to behaviour can hurt the economy more than the actual disease, says Breakingviews' Una Galani. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Twitter Users Up In Arms After 'Favorites' Show Up In Feeds

Twitter Users Up In Arms After 'Favorites' Show Up In Feeds

Newsy (Aug. 17, 2014) — Twitter is testing a feature on some users that shows favorited tweets from people they follow in their own timeline, the same way a retweet appears. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins