Flexible Artificial Synapses with a Biocompatible Maltose-Ascorbic Acid Electrolyte Gate for Neuromorphic Computing

Wei Qin, Byung Ha Kang, Hyun Jae Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


As constructing hardware technology is widely regarded as an important step toward realizing brain-like computers and artificial intelligence systems, the development of artificial synaptic electronics that can simulate biological synaptic functions is an emerging research field. Among the various types of artificial synapses, synaptic transistors using an electrolyte as the gate electrode have been implemented as the high capacitance of the electrolyte increases the driving current and lowers operating voltages. Here, transistors using maltose-ascorbic acid as the proton-conducting electrolyte are proposed. A novel electrolyte composed of maltose and ascorbic acid, both of which are biocompatible, enables the migration of protons. This allows the channel conductance of the transistors to be modulated with the gate input pulse voltage, and fundamental synaptic functions including excitatory postsynaptic current, paired-pulse facilitation, long-term potentiation, and long-term depression can be successfully emulated. Furthermore, the maltose-ascorbic acid electrolyte (MAE)-gated synaptic transistors exhibit high mechanical endurance, with near-linear conductivity modulation and repeatability after 1000 bending cycles under a curvature radius of 5 mm. Benefitting from its excellent biodegradability and biocompatibility, the proposed MAE has potential applications in environmentally friendly, economical, and high-performance neuromorphic electronics, which can be further applied to dermal electronics and implantable electronics in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34597-34604
Number of pages8
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number29
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jul 28

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Nano Material Technology Development Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT under Grant 2018M3A7B4071521.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Chemical Society.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)


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