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New Rules in the Topological World: Research Team from Nanjing University Proposes "Noise-Immune Neuromorphic Computing" Scheme

The operational mechanism of the basic computing units in semiconductor chips relies on electronic transport. In conventional materials, electron transport is often disrupted by scattering effects, much like the irregular zigzag paths of vehicles navigating a busy intersection shown in Figure 1. In contrast, the movement of vehicles on a highway follows a straight line, eliminating external interference and consuming less energy. In topological quantum materials, there exists a "highway of electrons" known as topological edge states. If we can adjust the “traffic flow” of such "electron transport highway", then it holds promise for applications in low-power electronic devices.


Recently, the team led by Professor Feng Miao and Associate Professor Shi-Jun Liang from the School of Physics at Nanjing University, in collaboration with Professor Bin Cheng from Nanjing University of Science and Technology, turned this bold hypothesis into reality. By constructing magic-angle graphene devices with a special stacking configuration, they observed the coexistence of electronic-type ferroelectricity and topologically protected edge states. Utilizing selective and quasi-continuous ferroelectric switching, they proposed, for the first time, a noise-immune neuromorphic computing scheme. This work opens up a new avenue for developing novel low-power electronic devices based on topologically protected edge states. The related research results were published online on July 4, 2024, in the famous journal Nature Nanotechnology, entitled "Selective and quasi-continuous switching of ferroelectric Chern insulator devices for neuromorphic computing" (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41565-024-01698-y).



Source: School of Physics

Correspondents: Liang Shijun, Miao Feng