Volume 11 Issue 8, August 2016

Volume 11 Issue 8

The neuronal membrane progressively collects postsynaptic potential signals from neighbouring neurons and integrates them until a threshold value is reached, resulting in an action potential being fired. Tomas Tuma, Evangelos Eleftheriou and colleagues have now reproduced this integrate-and-fire functionality by means of a single nanodevice working on a typical timescale of a nanosecond. To this end, they exploit the reversible transition between amorphous and crystalline states of chalcogenide-based phase-change materials. These devices display intrinsically stochastic dynamics, analogous to biological neurons, making them extremely appealing for applications in the field of neuromorphic computation.

Article p693; News & Views p655





  • Editorial |

    Advances in nanotechnology and materials science suggest that a paradigm shift in computation may be closer than we think.

  • Editorial |

    The uncertainty created by the result of the Brexit referendum will be damaging for science in the UK.

Research Highlights

News & Views

  • News & Views |

    Induced progressive crystallization in chalcogenide-based materials can be used to closely mimic neuronal functions, opening new paths to neuromorphic computing.

    • C. David Wright
  • News & Views |

    Measuring changes in the isotopic composition of silver offers clues on how silver nanoparticles are transformed in the environment.

    • Frank Vanhaecke
  • News & Views |

    The ambiguous barrier mechanism of nuclear pore complexes has now been resolved through structural analysis with high-speed atomic force microscopy.

    • Victor Shahin

Review Article

  • Review Article |

    Semiconductor nanocrystals offer an enormous diversity of device applications that have been potentially limited by intermittent fluorescence intensity or 'blinking' dynamics. However, recent progress in both experiment and theory suggest a more promising outlook.

    • Alexander L. Efros
    •  & David J. Nesbitt




In the Classroom

  • In the Classroom |

    Hybrid training in clinical and basic sciences can promote patient-centred discoveries in nanomedicine, says Wen Jiang.

    • Wen Jiang
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