Nanowire FET based neural element for robotic tactile sensing skin

Navaraj, W.T. ORCID: 0000-0003-4753-2015, García Núñez, C., Shakthivel, D., Vinciguerra, V., Labeau, F., Gregory, D.H. and Dahiya, R., 2017. Nanowire FET based neural element for robotic tactile sensing skin. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 11: 501. ISSN 1662-453X

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This paper presents novel Neural Nanowire Field Effect Transistors (υ-NWFETs) based hardware-implementable neural network (HNN) approach for tactile data processing in electronic skin (e-skin). The viability of Si nanowires (NWs) as the active material for υ-NWFETs in HNN is explored through modeling and demonstrated by fabricating the first device. Using υ-NWFETs to realize HNNs is an interesting approach as by printing NWs on large area flexible substrates it will be possible to develop a bendable tactile skin with distributed neural elements (for local data processing, as in biological skin) in the backplane. The modeling and simulation of υ-NWFET based devices show that the overlapping areas between individual gates and the floating gate determines the initial synaptic weights of the neural network - thus validating the working of υ-NWFETs as the building block for HNN. The simulation has been further extended to υ-NWFET based circuits and neuronal computation system and this has been validated by interfacing it with a transparent tactile skin prototype (comprising of 6 × 6 ITO based capacitive tactile sensors array) integrated on the palm of a 3D printed robotic hand. In this regard, a tactile data coding system is presented to detect touch gesture and the direction of touch. Following these simulation studies, a four-gated υ-NWFET is fabricated with Pt/Ti metal stack for gates, source and drain, Ni floating gate, and Al2O3 high-k dielectric layer. The current-voltage characteristics of fabricated υ-NWFET devices confirm the dependence of turn-off voltages on the (synaptic) weight of each gate. The presented υ-NWFET approach is promising for a neuro-robotic tactile sensory system with distributed computing as well as numerous futuristic applications such as prosthetics, and electroceuticals.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Frontiers in Neuroscience
Creators: Navaraj, W.T., García Núñez, C., Shakthivel, D., Vinciguerra, V., Labeau, F., Gregory, D.H. and Dahiya, R.
Publisher: Frontiers Research Foundation
Date: 2017
Volume: 11
ISSN: 1662-453X
Rights: Copyright © 2017 Taube Navaraj, García Núñez, Shakthivel, Vinciguerra, Labeau, Gregory and Dahiya. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 14 Aug 2019 10:53
Last Modified: 14 Aug 2019 11:41

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