Short-Term Plasticity and Long-Term Potentiation in Magnetic Tunnel Junctions: Towards Volatile Synapses

Abhronil Sengupta, Kaushik Roy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

Synaptic memory is considered to be the main element responsible for learning and cognition in humans. Although traditionally nonvolatile long-term plasticity changes are implemented in nanoelectronic synapses for neuromorphic applications, recent studies in neuroscience reveal that biological synapses undergo metastable volatile strengthening followed by a long-term strengthening provided that the frequency of the input stimulus is sufficiently high. Such "memory strengthening" and "memory decay" functionalities can potentially lead to adaptive neuromorphic architectures. In this paper, we demonstrate the close resemblance of the magnetization dynamics of a magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ) to short-term plasticity and long-term potentiation observed in biological synapses. We illustrate that, in addition to the magnitude and duration of the input stimulus, the frequency of the stimulus plays a critical role in determining long-term potentiation of the MTJ. Such MTJ synaptic memory arrays can be utilized to create compact, ultrafast, and low-power intelligent neural systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number024012
JournalPhysical Review Applied
Volume5
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 26 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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