Boost of the Bio-memristor Performance for Artificial Electronic Synapses by Surface Reconstruction
Biomaterial-based memristors (bio-memristors) are often adopted to emulate biological synapse functions and applied to construct neural computing networks in brain-inspired chip systems. However, the randomness of conductive filament formation in bio-memristors inhibits their switching performance by causing the dispersion of the device-switching parameters. In this case, a facile porous silk fibroin (p-SF) memristor was obtained through a protein surface reconstruction strategy, in which the size of the hole can be adjusted by the density of hybrid nanoseeds. The porous SF memristors exhibit greatly enhanced electrical characteristics, including uniform I-V cycles, centralized distribution of the switching voltages, and both high and low resistances, compared to devices without pores. The results of three-dimensional (3D) simulations based on classical density functional theory (cDFT) suggest that the reconstructed pores in the SF layers guide the formation and fracture of Ag filaments under an electric field and enhance the overall conductivity by separating Ag+ ion and electron diffusion pathways. Ag+ ions are predicted to preferentially diffuse through pores, whereas electrons diffuse through the SF network. Interestingly, the device conductance can be bidirectionally modulated gradually by positive and negative voltages, can faithfully simulate short-term and long-term plasticity, and can even realize the triplet-spike-timing-dependent plasticity (triplet-STDP) rule, which can be used for pattern recognition in biological systems. The simulation results reveal that a memristor network of this type has an accuracy of ~95.78% in memory learning and the capability of pattern learning. This work provides a facile technology route to improve the performance of bionic-material memristors.