Mimicking Neurotransmitter Release in Chemical Synapses via Hysteresis Engineering in MoS2 Transistors

Andrew J. Arnold, Ali Razavieh, Joseph R. Nasr, Daniel S. Schulman, Chad Eichfeld, Saptarshi Das

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

204 Scopus citations


Neurotransmitter release in chemical synapses is fundamental to diverse brain functions such as motor action, learning, cognition, emotion, perception, and consciousness. Moreover, improper functioning or abnormal release of neurotransmitter is associated with numerous neurological disorders such as epilepsy, sclerosis, schizophrenia, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease. We have utilized hysteresis engineering in a back-gated MoS2 field effect transistor (FET) in order to mimic such neurotransmitter release dynamics in chemical synapses. All three essential features, i.e., quantal, stochastic, and excitatory or inhibitory nature of neurotransmitter release, were accurately captured in our experimental demonstration. We also mimicked an important phenomenon called long-term potentiation (LTP), which forms the basis of human memory. Finally, we demonstrated how to engineer the LTP time by operating the MoS2 FET in different regimes. Our findings could provide a critical component toward the design of next-generation smart and intelligent human-like machines and human-machine interfaces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3110-3118
Number of pages9
JournalACS Nano
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 28 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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