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Synaptic Switching with Halide Perovskites

Project description

Harnessing ionic flows in perovskites could lead to neuromorphic computing architectures

Current is simply the movement of charge. Negatively charged electrons and positively charged holes carry currents in conventional semiconductors, whereas charged ions, including Na+ and Cl-, carry currents in biological cells. Typically, ion migration is an impediment in optoelectronic devices based on promising metal halide perovskite semiconductors. However, if harnessed and controlled, it could support the creation of artificial synapses and neurons for numerous applications. The EU-funded SHAPE project is characterising ion migration, leading to the rational design of novel perovskite-based artificial synapses and neurons for neuromorphic computation.


Metal halide perovskites are attracting much attention because they are excellent semiconductors for use in optoelectronic devices such as solar cells, LEDs, and detectors. Next to electrons, these materials also conduct ions efficiently, and both types of conduction are modulated by light. Ion migration is mostly known to have undesirable effects in optoelectronic devices, such as hysteresis, degradation, and phase segregation. However, the interaction of light, electronic conduction and ionic motion also offers a rich parameter space to envision entirely new devices, which is almost completely unexplored until now.

I want to pioneer this new field, uncovering insights to help mitigate the undesirable effects of ion migration, and at the same time creating artificial synapses and neurons as new applications based on halide perovskites. I will first develop a novel set of techniques to study ion migration, including a technique similar to impedance spectroscopy to map the energy, density, and timescale of ions and defect states. This will allow me to distinguish ions from charge traps which usually complicate measurements. Next, I will use the new tools to pursue a complete understanding and control of the material parameters that determine ion migration. This control over the ionic motion allows me to rationally design properties of the perovskite-based artificial synapses and neurons with the potential to develop massively parallel neural networks for ultra-low power neuromorphic computation.

I am in a unique position to successfully complete the proposed program because of my pioneering role in the understanding of ion migration in perovskite materials and track record of inventing new optoelectronic devices. The proposed program will both benefit the commercialization of perovskite-based electronic devices and open new avenues for ion-based innovations.

Host institution

Net EU contribution
€ 1 500 000,00
3526 KV Utrecht

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West-Nederland Utrecht Utrecht
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
€ 1 500 000,00

Beneficiaries (1)