Electrical synaptic devices are the basic components for the hardware based neuromorphic computational systems, which are expected to break the bottleneck of current von Neumann architecture. So far, synaptic devices based on three-terminal transistors are considered to provide the most stable performances, which usually use gate pulses to modulate the channel conductance through a floating gate and/or charge trapping layer. Herein, we report a three-terminal synaptic device based on a two-dimensional molybdenum ditelluride (MoTe)/hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) heterostructure. This structure enables stable and prominent conductance modulation of the MoTechannel by the photo-doping method through electron migration between the MoTechannel and ultraviolet (UV) light excited mid-gap defect states in hBN. Therefore, it is free of the floating gate and charge trapping layer to reduce the thickness and simplify the fabrication/design of the device.. Moreover, since UV illumination is indispensable for stable doping in MoTechannel, the device can realize both short- (without UV illumination) and long- (with UV illumination) term plasticity. Meanwhile, the introduction of UV light allows additional tunability on the MoTechannel conductance through incident UV wavelength and power intensity, which may be important to mimic advanced synaptic functions. In addition, the photo-doping method can bidirectionally dope MoTe2 channel, which not only leads to large high/low resistance ratio for potential multi-level storage, but also implement both potentiation (n-doping) and depression (p-doping) of synaptic weight. This work explores alternative three-terminal synaptic configuration without floating gate and charge trapping layer, which may inspire researches on novel electrical synapse mechanisms.© 2021 IOP Publishing Ltd.
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Xiao Ming Song