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- Abishek Manian (D14) - Manish Sadhwani (D14) - Pooja Saraff (D14)


The Nanoparticle±Organic Memory transistor (NOMFET) is a device made of conjugated molecules and metal nanoparticles which acts as a biological spiking synapse. Hence.e. substituting CMOS based synapse technology by nanoscale components to make new neuromorphic circuits is the need of the hour. it can manipulate its reaction to incoming signals depending on events that happened before. neurons (nerve cells) are cells that are specialized to transmit signals to individual target cells. if very closely packed pulses of incoming signals are received by the synapse. Introduction Evolving nanocomponents are of great interest to provide high density. It is an organic-based device that uses pentacene and gold nanoparticles which makes it behave in a manner similar to that of an organic synapse as it transmits a signal between neurons i. Synapse. Neurotransmitters. Neuroreceptors. In our nervous system. Synaptic vesicles. This can enhance the neuron-based artificial brain design that can now be more compactly constructed. Pentacene. Even though CMOS Neuromorphic system was one of the most penetrating researches to bring the robustness and adaptability in the circuit beyond the conventional Von Neumann architecture in early 1990s. CMOS technology was not able to provide the huge capacity to be quantifiable to biological levels due to the fact that enormous number of transistors are required to produce the dynamic behaviour of biological synapse. robustness and adaptability for the progress of new bioinspired systems or circuits. Facilitating and depressing synaptic behaviors can be depicted by the NOMEFT and it is programmable. two neurons are connected to each other through a junction called synapse. What is human synapse? In human nervous system. the action potential will be weaker. or on the nature of the signal it is dealing with at that moment. Short Term Plasticity(STP). Structure of a typical neuron 2 . For example. it will transmit a stronger action potential. It enhances the performance of neural network circuits and also saves space. if the pulses are spaced far apart from each other. Keywords: NOMFET. Conversely. enabling the transmission of electrical information from one neuron to another and the adaptation of the data as a function of the nature of the incoming signal (plasticity).Abstract The progress of artificial intelligence had been slightly hindered by a lack of transistors that work like our brains do until the development of NOMFET. This is the primary property of the synapse behaviour called Short-term Plasticity (STP).

5. In the example shown these are sodium channels. These chemicals are secreted by the cell that is transmitting the impulse (the pre-synaptic neuron) and is stored in synaptic vesicles at the end of the axon. also called neuroreceptors. This causes a depolarisation of the post-synaptic cell membrane. When an action potential reaches the synapse these channels open. This stops the synapse being permanently on.) Instead the chemicals called neurotransmitters carry the nerve impulses. The neurotransmitter on reaching the post-synaptic neuron binds to the neuroreceptors in its membrane. The pre-synaptic neuron at its end has voltage-gated calcium channels. 2. if the threshold is reached. The neurotransmitters diffuse through the synaptic cleft. causing the channels to open. The cell which receives the nerve impulse (the post-synaptic neuron) in its membrane has chemical-gated ion channels. so sodium ions flow in. Construction of NOMFET Working of synapses Sequential performance of synapse 1. leading to the flow of calcium ions into the cell. 4. These calcium ions cause the synaptic vesicles to combine with the 3 . Axons are the slender cylindrical portion of the neuron that conducts electrical impulses.Functions of synapses An action potential cannot pass through the synaptic cleft between neurons. for example the enzyme acetylcholinesterase breaks down the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. using energy from the mitochondria. which may initiate an action potential. 3. cell membrane. The neurotransmitter is broken down by a specific enzyme in the synaptic cleft. The breakdown products are absorbed by the pre-synaptic neuron by endocytosis and used to re-synthesise more neurotransmitter. discharging their contents (the neurotransmitter chemicals) by exocytosis. (The small space between two neurons across which the neurotransmitter acetylcholine diffuses. 6.

For the 5 nm NPs. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) images shows a random distribution of the 20 nm NPs. firings." which are created by missing electrons in the pentacene. and this changes the electrical output of the transistor. we deduce an average density of ~ 2-5x1010 NP/cm2. Because of this adaptability. The gold NPs (20 and 5 nm in diameter) were mobilized into the source-drain channel using surface chemistry (self-assembled monolayers) and they were subsequently covered by a thin film (35 nm thick) of pentacene. some holes are temporarily trapped by the gold. Thus conduction in the device is assured by holes. with the formation of some aggregates. In addition to rather classical transistor behavior. NOMFET as SYNAPSE The neuron transmits a small electric pulse along its length. Depending on the voltages used.The NOMFET is composed of three terminals as the conventional MOSFET. Drain (D). In some neurons. transmit the current across this valley of scattered gold. 4 . From an image analysis. At each voltage input. The neurotransmitters traverse the synaptic gap and trigger a response in the neighboring neuron. repeated stimulations yields stronger. NOMFET is more flexible than traditional transistors. because the charged NPs cause a repulsive electrostatic interaction between the holes trapped in the NPs and the ones created in the pentacene. The timing of the electrical pulses helps determine how large of a chemical signal gets sent. The device is fabricated using a bottom-gate electrode configuration. a negative gate voltage also positively charges the Au NPs. we obtain a rather uniform distribution of NPs (no NP aggregation) with a density of ~ 6. Source(S) and Gate (G). NOMFET can produce either weaker or stronger outputs ± just like human neurons undergoing short-term plasticity. This has the effect of diminishing the channel conductivity of the device.5x1011 NP/cm2. Working of NOMFET Positive charges called "holes. created in the thin film at the interface with the silicon oxide when a negative gate voltage is applied. triggering the release of chemicals called neurotransmitters into the synapse. or facilitated. The NOMFET therefore exhibits a short term memory and the charge retention time in the NPs can be as high as several thousand seconds.

The main feature of a biological synapse is to present a dependence of the amplitude of the output spike with the frequency of the input spike. is a decreasing function of the number of holes stored in the NPs. The response of a synapse to a train of pulses with variable frequency can be calculated. At each spike. multiple stimulations elicit weaker. Each spike transformed to synapses activates a fraction of chemical neurotransmitters and the amplitude of the transmitted spike is proportional to this fraction. known as short-term plasticity. Between pulses the system relaxes: the Thus at high(low) frequency. These adaptations. and pulse width W) as the source electrode. The holes trapped in the NPs play the role of the neurotransmitters and the output signal. The gate receives the same input voltage (a train of pulse at frequency 1/T. NOMFET is a "pseudo two-terminal device". amplitude V. The response of the NOMFET to sequences of pulses with different periods. ID. at each successive pulse generating a depressing(facilitating) behavior. a certain amount of holes are trapped in the NPs. The value of the current at a certain time depends on the full history of the device that determines the amount of charges presents in the NPs. The NPs are alternatively charged during the pulse duration and discharged between pulses .In others. the period of the input signal is lower(larger) than rec and the output signal decreases(increases) 5 . The output is the drain current. T. responses. It also depends on the history of the synapse which determines the amount of available neurotransmitter at a given time. The fraction of neurotransmitters spend to transmit the information is then recovered with a characteristic time rec that is typically in the range of the second. or depressed. happen within milliseconds.

The highly doped p-type silicon (10-3 . It is exposed to the solution for 15 minutes and then ultraviolet irradiated in ozone atmosphere (ozonolysis) for 30 minutes. This freshly prepared substrate is immersed in a gold nanoparticles (NPs) solution. NOMFET is envisioned as a building block of neuroelectronics for interfacing neurons or neuronal logic devices made from patterned neuronal cultures with solid-state devices and circuits.It is a recurrent artificial neural network.1 /s. a 35 nm thick pentacene film is evaporated at a rate of 0. is used to functionalize the SiO2 (gate dielectric). y Cybernetics. a model with bidirectional data flow.holes escape with a characteristic time d ( d is the NP discharge time constant). This starting solution is diluted 100 times in toluene. 6 . y Advanced computer-based brain simulations and war robots. the self-assembled monolayer (SAM) of a thiol-ended molecule. inter electrode gaps of 12 m) on the substrate. y Perceptron ± It follows feed-forward network that propagates data linearly from input to output. prepared by a silanization reaction in gas phase. Further. Response of a reference device (no NPs incorporated in the pentacene layer) to a train of pulse. 2/1 v/v) are used to clean the wafer before is covered with a thermally grown 200 nm thick silicon dioxide. Materials and methods The bottom-gate electrode configuration is used to process the NOMFET. The oxidized silicon with gold electrodes wafer is placed overnight in the presence of vapors of freshly distilled mercaptopropyltrimethoxysilane (MPTS) in a laboratory glassware at 0. Photolithography is used to fabricate networks of electrodes with a smaller gap (1 m). Thiol capped Au NPs readily react with thiol-terminated SAM by ligand exchange forming a covalent bond with the surface.e. However such a synaptic behavior was not observed for the reference pentacene OFET (no NPs). a solution of 4-5 nm (in diameter) dodecanethiol functionalized gold nanoparticles (2 % in toluene). Piranha solution (H2SO4 /H2O2. These results open the way to rate coding utilization of the NOMFET in perceptron and Hopfield networks. Applications y Hopfield networks. A shadow mask is used for vacuum evaporation of titanium/gold (20/200 nm) to deposit networks of square-shaped gold electrodes (113 m sides. Finally.2 Torr. i.

Zhao.biologymad. C. (2007).com/blog/kiteaton/technomix/robocalypse-alertnew-transistor-mimics-synapsefunctions 2. Pleutin.robaid. It has the potential to increase the performances of neural-network computing circuits. http://www. IEEE Trans. Vuillaume and C.htm 4.g. C. Nature Precedings (2009) 7 . techniques are used to manipulate (e. Alibart. D.htm 5. low-cost. Pleutin. Conclusion Efficient computer systems that think like humans could be envisaged courtesy these new transistor which replicates the structures in the human brain. J. allows them to mimic the functions of a synapse during the transmission of action potentials between two neurons. Önnheim. F." Reference System/synapses. plastic. The memory effect due to the encapsulated gold nanoparticles. or miswirings of the brain that cause mental disorders. Vuillaume. interaction and cognition while maintaing its low power consumption and compact size. O. Wendin. bottom-up. self-assembly).fastcompany. Sköldberg. W. Gamrat. 7. Guérin. Gamrat. Previous mock-neural networks required at least seven transistors to copy the short-term plasticity of synapse however NOMFET can imitate same functionality with only single transistor. http://www. http://www. these nanoparticles and molecules used for nanodevice fabrication are nanosize material. This property bolsters the abilities of the electronic component to evolve as a function of the system in which it is placed. Bichler. sensation. Cicuits and S.. and D. 3. Alibart. D. substrates. action.y To achieve the target of creating computer systems that can efficiently emulate and simulate the brain¶s capabilities like perception. F. Functional Model of NanoparticleOrganic Memory Transistor for Use as a Spiking Synapse 6. fixed in the channel of the transistor and coated with pentacene. Furthermore. G. A researcher has averted that "We will be able to test the theory ² dating back to the 19th century ² that memories are written in connectomes and we may also be able to find connectopathies. S. and they are inclined to work on flexible.