Research on artificial photosynapses of oxide thin-film transistors has progressed

AI technology has great potential for safety, medical and service applications. However, with the development of networking and informatization, the existing vision system based on the von Neumann architecture is difficult to process the massive surge of visual data in real time due to power consumption problems. The photoelectric synaptic device of biomimetic human vision can integrate image information acquisition, storage and processing, effectively solving the bottleneck problems such as timeliness and power consumption in the existing vision system. As a traditional electronic device, amorphous oxide semiconductor thin-film transistors (TFTs) have been industrialized in the fields of display and electronic circuits. Therefore, innovative devices based on oxide TFT have obvious advantages in industrial process compatibility and board integration with back-end circuits, and some key scientific and technological problems such as weak visible light response, efficient frequency selectivity, and signal crosstalk in different bands need to be solved in the research and development of bionic human visual synaptic devices.

In view of this, the functional thin film and intelligent device team of Ningbo Institute of Materials Technology and Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences, first elucidated the microscopic mechanism of synaptic weight regulation closely related to oxygen vacancy in amorphous oxide semiconductor devices, which provided a theoretical basis for improving the visible light response, and designed a photoelectric synaptic TFT with dorsal channel modified pn heterojunction, which effectively coupled the gate voltage regulation of the three-terminal device and the built-in electric field regulation function of the two-terminal device, which has the advantages of high photoelectric response, easy integration and low power consumption. The results were published in Nano Energy 62 (2019) 772, PSS RRL 14 (2020) 1900630, ACS AMI 13 (2021) 30165.

Recently, the team and the team of Professor Zhang Haizhong of Fuzhou University designed a bionic visual sensor based on InP quantum dot/InSnZnO photoelectric TFT, which organically combines the excellent electrical transport characteristics of oxide semiconductors with the good broad spectral response characteristics of InP quantum dots, so that the device has excellent gate controllability and visible light response characteristics, and realizes the regulation of the initial state by simply controlling the gate bias, and the bionic simulates the switching of adaptation functions in the dark vision and photopic environment of the human eye. The constructed TFT array exhibits realistic environmental adaptive characteristics when sensing the red, green and blue primary color letters. In addition, the three-layer diffractive neural network based on the photoelectric sensing array is used for handwritten digital recognition simulation, and the accuracy can reach 93%. This work opens up a new way for the development of environmentally adaptive artificial vision systems, which is of enlightening significance for the research and development of neuromorphic optoelectronic devices. The results of the study were published in Adv. Funct. Mater. 2023, 2305959, DOI: 10.1002/adfm.202305959。

The above work has been supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (62274166, U20A20209), Ningbo Major Science and Technology Research Project (2021Z116) and other projects. (Source: Ningbo Institute of Materials Technology and Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences)

Demonstration of the analogy between the light-dark adaptation process of the human eye and the photocurrent change process of oxide photoelectric thin-film transistors

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