Replicating the communication (synaptic action) in human brains could be a critical step toward building computers that emulate brain-like performance, or neuromorphic computing. Yohannes Abate studies the physics of correlated oxide nanometre-scale devices which behave like biological synaptic systems. Using high-resolution imaging and spectroscopy techniques, the research team probes and manipulates electronic and thermodynamic properties after single electrical events in an artificial synapse made of nanostructured correlated oxides. As the size of a synapse decreases, the impact of its surroundings increases and fluctuations become fundamentally more pronounced, often far from equilibrium.
The research aims to explore energetic resource constraints and the response of correlated oxide synapses to weak electric pulses in the presence of thermodynamic fluctuations, and how signal transmission and energy budget can be optimized in these conditions. The end goal is to create more reliable and energy-efficient artificial synaptic networks for use in neuromorphic computing applications.
Dr. Abate’s research on correlated oxides could contribute to the development of neuromorphic computing and quantum technologies. The development and implementation of high spatial resolution and high detection sensitivity techniques to measure the static and dynamic actions of individual synapses could expand our knowledge of memory, learning, and information retention in quantum materials.
Experimental Physics Investigators Initiative
University of Georgia Research Foundation