Green Electronics to Gray Matter: Ghost Walks, Mind Blowing and Brain Doping

Excessive power consumption and dissipation of electronics with technology scaling, is a serious threat to the Information Society as well as to the environment and especially smacks a hard blow to the future of energy-constrained applications such as medical implants and prosthetics. This impending energy crisis has roots in the thermal distribution of carriers, which poses fundamental limitation on energy scalability of the present transistors.

 In this talk, I will demonstrate the quantum mechanical transistor, that I developed, which beats the fundamental thermal limitations of present transistors. I will describe how this can be achieved by unique integration of heterogeneous material technologies including an atomically thin material, to make the electron waves propagate (tunnel) efficiently through an energy barrier (like a ghost walking through a wall). This device is the world's thinnest channel (6 atoms thick) sub-thermal tunnel-transistor. Thus, it has the potential to allow dimensional scalability to beyond Silicon scaling era and thereby to address the long-standing issue of simultaneous dimensional and power scalability.

Going beyond electronic computation, I will discuss about the biological computer: the brain, which can be thought of as an ultimate example of low power computational system. However, understanding the brain, requires deciphering the dense jungle of biomolecules that it is formed of. I will introduce the next-generation expansion microscopy technology, that I have developed, which helps to decipher the organization of biomolecular building blocks of brain by literally blowing out the brain by up to 100-fold. This technology reveals for the first time, a nanoscale trans-synaptic architecture in brain tissue and structural changes related to neurological diseases.

I will conclude with my research vision for how extremely powerful technologies can be built by fusing diverse research fields and how seamless integration of nanoelectronics-bio hybrid systems in the brain (brain doping), can create unprecedented possibilities for probing and controlling the biological computer and in future, help us transcend beyond our biological limitations.

[1] D. Sarkar et. al., Nature, 526 (7571), 91, 2015;
[2] D. Sarkar et. al., Nano Lett., 15 (5), 2852, 2015;
[3] D. Sarkar et. al., ACS Nano., 8 (4), 3992, 2014;
[4] D. Sarkar et. al., Society for Neuroscience, 2016.

[5] D. Sarkar et. al., International Conference on Nanoscopy, 2018.

Published on March 2nd, 2018

Last updated on February 27th, 2018