Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action IF - RESWITCH


RESWITCH is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship research project aimed to investigate the possibility of mimicking biological synapses on neuromorphic hardware based on coordination polymer thin films. The research is conducted by Dr. Mikko Nisula, hosted by Prof. Christophe Detavernier at the research group CoCooN, Dep. of Solid State Sciences. The project runs from April 2019 until March 2021.

Project description

Cognitive computing has brought about the possibility of computer programs with ability to learn by recognizing patterns in data and to make predictions on the learned dependencies by mimicking the operation of the human brain. However, their energy efficiency is still orders of magnitude below the biological counterpart as the current linear Boolean logic is ill-suited for the simulation of the huge arrays of interconnected neurons. Neuromorphic computing aims to greatly improve the efficiency by emulating the synaptic functionality and interconnectivity on the hardware level. In biological neural networks, communication between neurons is facilitated by synapses that modulate the signal through changes in the synaptic weight. The time-variability of these operations is thought to allow the single node to both process and store information.

RESWITCH seeks to emulate this synaptic plasticity by exploiting the coupled ionic/electronic transport in redox-active hybrid metal-organic coordination polymer thin films. As in fully organic conjugated polymers, the electronic conductivity can be modulated electrochemically with dynamic operation arising from the concurrent counter-ion motion. The interplay of the metal and organic constituents allows for precise control of the electric/electrochemical properties, but poor processability limits their applicability for nanotechnology applications. In RESWITCH, a new thin film -based approach is implemented with Molecular Layer Deposition (MLD). A library of MLD processes for high-quality, ultra-thin films of redox-active and electrically conductive materials will be established. The thin film approach allows for detailed exploration on the contribution of the metal and organic components to the redox-properties and conductivity. The ultimate target is to implement the thin films in a novel bilayer thin film device in which the conductance can be controlled dynamically with electrochemical doping of the adjacent layers.


These are the objectives of RESWITCH:

  • Establishing novel MLD-chemistries based on redox-active organic ligands.
  • Gaining detailed understanding on the link between the thin film composition and it’s redox-properties and electrical conductivity.
  • Integrating these newly developed materials in a resistive switching device demonstrator with artificial synapse -like functionality

Role of Ghent University

In this project Ghent University is the beneficiary organization. The postdoctoral research fellow, Dr Mikko Nisula, is hosted by the research group CoCooN lead by prof. Christophe Detavernier


Dr. Mikko Nisula
Department of Solid State Sciences
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