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Artificial optoelectronic spiking neuron based on a resonant tunnelling diode coupled to a vertical cavity surface emitting laser

by   MatĚJ Hejda, et al.
University of Glasgow
University of Lisbon
University of Strathclyde
TU Eindhoven

Excitable optoelectronic devices represent one of the key building blocks for implementation of artificial spiking neurons in neuromorphic (brain-inspired) photonic systems. This work introduces and experimentally investigates an opto-electro-optical (O/E/O) artificial neuron built with a resonant tunnelling diode (RTD) coupled to a photodetector as a receiver and a vertical cavity surface emitting laser as a the transmitter. We demonstrate a well defined excitability threshold, above which this neuron produces 100 ns optical spiking responses with characteristic neural-like refractory period. We utilise its fan-in capability to perform in-device coincidence detection (logical AND) and exclusive logical OR (XOR) tasks. These results provide first experimental validation of deterministic triggering and tasks in an RTD-based spiking optoelectronic neuron with both input and output optical (I/O) terminals. Furthermore, we also investigate in theory the prospects of the proposed system for its nanophotonic implementation with a monolithic design combining a nanoscale RTD element and a nanolaser; therefore demonstrating the potential of integrated RTD-based excitable nodes for low footprint, high-speed optoelectronic spiking neurons in future neuromorphic photonic hardware.


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