Spiking neurons from tunable Gaussian heterojunction transistors

Megan E. Beck, Ahish Shylendra, Vinod K. Sangwan, Silu Guo, William A. Gaviria Rojas, Hocheon Yoo, Hadallia Bergeron, Katherine Su, Amit R. Trivedi, Mark C. Hersam*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Spiking neural networks exploit spatiotemporal processing, spiking sparsity, and high interneuron bandwidth to maximize the energy efficiency of neuromorphic computing. While conventional silicon-based technology can be used in this context, the resulting neuron-synapse circuits require multiple transistors and complicated layouts that limit integration density. Here, we demonstrate unprecedented electrostatic control of dual-gated Gaussian heterojunction transistors for simplified spiking neuron implementation. These devices employ wafer-scale mixed-dimensional van der Waals heterojunctions consisting of chemical vapor deposited monolayer molybdenum disulfide and solution-processed semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotubes to emulate the spike-generating ion channels in biological neurons. Circuits based on these dual-gated Gaussian devices enable a variety of biological spiking responses including phasic spiking, delayed spiking, and tonic bursting. In addition to neuromorphic computing, the tunable Gaussian response has significant implications for a range of other applications including telecommunications, computer vision, and natural language processing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1565
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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