Optically-triggered deterministic spiking regimes in nanostructure resonant tunnelling diode-photodetectors

by   Qusay Raghib Ali Al-Taai, et al.

This work reports a nanostructure resonant tunnelling diode-photodetector (RTD-PD) device and demonstrates its operation as a controllable, optically-triggered excitable spike generator. The top contact layer of the device is designed with a nanopillar structure 500 nm in diameter) to restrain the injection current, yielding therefore lower energy operation for spike generation. We demonstrate experimentally the deterministic optical triggering of controllable and repeatable neuron-like spike patterns in the nanostructure RTD-PDs. Moreover, we show the device's ability to deliver spiking responses when biased in both regions adjacent to the negative differential conductance (NDC) region, the so-called 'peak' and 'valley' points of the current-voltage (I-V) characteristic. This work also demonstrates experimentally key neuron-like dynamical features in the nanostructure RTD-PD, such as a well-defined threshold (in input optical intensity) for spike firing, as well as the presence of spike firing refractory time. The optoelectronic and chip-scale character of the proposed system together with the deterministic, repeatable and well controllable nature of the optically-elicited spiking responses render this nanostructure RTD-PD element as a highly promising solution for high-speed, energy-efficient optoelectronic artificial spiking neurons for novel light-enabled neuromorphic computing hardware.


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