Mimicking Neurotransmitter Release and Long-Term Plasticity by Oxygen Vacancy Migration in a Tunnel Junction Memristor

ArticleinIntelligent Systems · May 2019with 28 Reads
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Activated by action potentials and Ca2+ ion migration, neurotransmitters in biological synapses are released from vesicles at the presynaptic membrane to the cleft and bonded to receptors on the postsynaptic membrane. The bonded neurotransmitters modify the electrochemical properties of the postsynaptic membrane and, thereby, the synaptic plasticity, which forms the basis for learning, memory, emotion, cognition and consciousness. Here, oxygen vacancy transport in Au/SrTiO3 (STO)/La0.67Sr0.33MnO3 (LSMO) oxide tunnel junctions (OTJ) is exploited to mimic neurotransmission processes in an artificial ionic electronic device. Using voltage pulses of varying number, amplitude, and polarity, it is demonstrated that reversible oxygen vacancy migration across the STO/LSMO interface provides stable multilevel resistance switching for octal memory devices and resembles the quantal, stochastic, and excitatory or inhibitory nature of neurotransmitter release dynamics. Moreover, fundamental synaptic behaviors including long-term potentiation/depression and various types of spike-timing dependent plasticity characteristics are emulated, opening a promising bio-realistic approach to the design of neuromorphic devices.

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