Ultraflexible and Energy-Efficient Artificial Synapses Based on Molecular/Atomic Layer Deposited Organic–Inorganic Hybrid Thin Films

Chang Liu, Lin Zhu, Jing-Kai Weng, Yu-Chen Li, Zhuo Chen, Jin Lei, Tao-Qing Zi, Di Wu, Wei Fa, Shuang Chen*, Bin Liang*, Ai-Dong Li*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


Flexible artificial synapses, a conjunctive product of brain-inspired neuromorphic computing and wearable electronics, arouse enormous interest in highly connected and energy-efficient neural networks. The organic–inorganic hybrid materials hold great potential in flexible devices due to versatile properties. Here, an organic–inorganic hybrid synaptic device consisting of 2 nm Al2O3 and 22 nm Al-based hydroquinone (Al-HQ) sandwiched between Pt and poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):polystyrene sulfonate (PEDOT:PSS) electrodes is prepared on highly flexible cellophane by molecular/atomic layer deposition (MLD/ALD). The vertically integrated Pt/Al2O3/Al-HQ/PEDOT:PSS device exhibits reliable resistive switching with an ON/OFF ratio greater than 103. Several important bio-synaptic functions, such as long-term potentiation, long-term depression, paired-pulse facilitation, and spike-time-dependent plasticity, are realized in this device with the extremely low energy consumption of ≈25.2 fJ per reset operation, which is ascribed to the unique electron trapping/detrapping and tunneling mechanism. Remarkably, the excellent flexibility and robustness of this hybrid synaptic device is confirmed under the minimum curvature radius of ≈0.7 mm after 104 bending cycles. A pattern recognition computation based on these hybrid synapse devices shows a 90.2% learning accuracy. This research paves a way for the MLD/ALD-derived organic–inorganic-hybrid-based artificial synapse applications in flexible energy-efficient neuron network systems toward system-on-plastics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2200821
JournalAdvanced Electronic Materials
Issue number2
Early online dateDec 2022
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials

User-Defined Keywords

  • flexible artificial synapses
  • low energy consumption
  • molecular/atomic layer deposition
  • organic–inorganic hybrid materials
  • PEDOT:PSS electrodes


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