Communications Materials

A multi-timescale synaptic weight based on ferroelectric hafnium zirconium oxide

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Brain-inspired computing emerged as a forefront technology to harness the growing amount of data generated in an increasingly connected society. The complex dynamics involving short- and long-term memory are key to the undisputed performance of biological neural networks. Here, we report on sub-µm-sized artificial synaptic weights exploiting a combination of a ferroelectric space charge effect and oxidation state modulation in the oxide channel of a ferroelectric field effect transistor. They lead to a quasi-continuous resistance tuning of the synapse by a factor of 60 and a fine-grained weight update of more than 200 resistance values. We leverage a fast, saturating ferroelectric effect and a slow, ionic drift and diffusion process to engineer a multi-timescale artificial synapse. Our device demonstrates an endurance of more than 10 10 cycles, a ferroelectric retention of more than 10 years, and various types of volatility behavior on distinct timescales, making it well suited for neuromorphic and cognitive computing.