Emergence of winner-takes-all connectivity paths in random nanowire networks

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Manning, Hugh G.
Niosi, Fabio
de Rocha, Claudia Gomes
Bellew, Allen T.
O'Callaghan, Colin
Biswas, Subhajit
Flowers, Patrick F.
Wiley, Benjamin J.
Holmes, Justin D.
Ferreira, Mauro S.
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Nanowire networks are promising memristive architectures for neuromorphic applications due to their connectivity and neurosynaptic-like behaviours. Here, we demonstrate a self-similar scaling of the conductance of networks and the junctions that comprise them. We show this behavior is an emergent property of any junction-dominated network. A particular class of junctions naturally leads to the emergence of conductance plateaus and a “winner-takes-all” conducting path that spans the entire network, and which we show corresponds to the lowest-energy connectivity path. The memory stored in the conductance state is distributed across the network but encoded in specific connectivity pathways, similar to that found in biological systems. These results are expected to have important implications for development of neuromorphic devices based on reservoir computing.
Nanowires , Nanowire networks , Connectivity path , Neuromorphic devices , Nanoscale materials , Electron microscopy , Transmission electron microscopy , Computational nanotechnology , Electronic devices , Electronic properties and materials
Manning, H. G., Niosi, F., da Rocha, C. G., Bellew, A. T., O’Callaghan, C., Biswas, S., Flowers, P. F., Wiley, B. J., Holmes, J. D., Ferreira, M. S. and Boland, J. J. (2018) 'Emergence of winner-takes-all connectivity paths in random nanowire networks', Nature Communications, 9(1), 3219 (9 pp). doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-05517-6