A non-volatile organic electrochemical device as a low-voltage artificial synapse for neuromorphic computing

Y. van de Burgt, E. Lubberman, E.J. Fuller, S.T. Keene, G.C. Faria, S. Agarwal, M.J. Marinella, A.A. Talin, A. Salleo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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The brain is capable of massively parallel information processing while consuming only ~1–100 fJ per synaptic event1, 2. Inspired by the efficiency of the brain, CMOS-based neural architectures3 and memristors4, 5 are being developed for pattern recognition and machine learning. However, the volatility, design complexity and high supply voltages for CMOS architectures, and the stochastic and energy-costly switching of memristors complicate the path to achieve the interconnectivity, information density, and energy efficiency of the brain using either approach. Here we describe an electrochemical neuromorphic organic device (ENODe) operating with a fundamentally different mechanism from existing memristors. ENODe switches at low voltage and energy (<10 pJ for 103 μm2 devices), displays >500 distinct, non-volatile conductance states within a ~1 V range, and achieves high classification accuracy when implemented in neural network simulations. Plastic ENODes are also fabricated on flexible substrates enabling the integration of neuromorphic functionality in stretchable electronic systems6, 7. Mechanical flexibility makes ENODes compatible with three-dimensional architectures, opening a path towards extreme interconnectivity comparable to the human brain.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)414-418
Number of pages5
JournalNature Materials
Issue number4
Early online date20 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017


  • Brain
  • Computers, Molecular
  • Electrochemical Techniques
  • Humans
  • Nerve Net


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