Nanoionic Devices Group

Development of Nanoionic Devices Enabling Diverse New Functions such as Artificial Intelligence

2022.01.12 Update

Importance of next-generation nanodevices

Many electronic devices, the majority of which are semiconductor-based, are used in familiar information and communications equipment.  Although semiconductor devices continue to achieve astonishing progress, supported by technical developments in miniaturization and integration, there are fears that this progress may slow in the near future.  To ensure sustained progress toward an advanced, next-generation information society, we must actively create devices that operate on principles different from those of conventional semiconductor devices, and thereby realize new functions and higher performance.  At MANA, we are focused on the development of nanoionic devices for such new devices.

Nanoarchitectonics utilizing ion transport and molecular displacement in solids

One distinctive feature of nanoionic devices, which differentiates them from conventional semiconductor devices, is that they control/utilize the transport of ions, which form crystal lattices, on the atomic to nano scales.  Controlling the transport of ions, which are significantly larger in mass and size than electrons, reconstructs their crystalline structures, interfacial structures, and other parameters, enabling reversible nano architecture, that is, "nanoarchitectonics," in materials.  The use of nanoarchitectonics gives nanoionic devices plasticity, enabling functional and structural changes where necessary by applying external voltage.  Because such plasticity is an important feature of the synaptic function of the biological brain, nanoionics devices can also be used in artificial intelligence. Further, utilization of the displacement of molecules that are larger than ions, enables the creation of a variety of functional molecular devices through nanoarchitectonics.

Specialized Research Field

Fig. 1 Research and development of various functional nanoionics devices using ionic nanoarchitectonics by ion transport in solids

Our group aims to create nanoionic devices, based on solid-state electrochemistry, solid-state ionics and nanotechnology, which devices enable a variety of new functions. Fig. 1 above outlines our research guidelines. By utilizing ionic nanoarchitectonics, based the on local ion transfer in ionic conductors, we create nanoionic devices that enable new functions and high performance that is not possible with conventional semiconductor devices. Such devices include an atomic switch, a brain-type device, a completely solid-state electric-double-layer transistor, a multifunctional on-demand device, and a superconducting device that can modulate transition temperature. Based on fundamental research into the said new nanoionic device operating principles, we are actively investigating their practical use through collaborative research with allied companies.                 Furthermore, we are exploring novel methods for constructing molecular nano-systems, in which single organic molecules and single conductive polymers are connected to each other, and are also developing methods for measuring the functions of such molecular nano-systems. Through these research activities, we aim to demonstrate functional expressions of single-molecule diodes and single-molecule transistors, and to develop single-molecule device circuits. We will also aim to realize molecular nano-system function control, and to demonstrate new functional expressions of such systems, through carrier doping using nanoionics.

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Nanoionic Device Group
1-1 Namiki, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, 305-0044 JAPAN
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