Researchers are taking one step closer in mimicking the behavior of human brain's activity inside a computer.Memristors, short for memory resistors, are a newly understood circuit element for the development of electronics. The study explained how the researchers at Hewlett Packard and the University of California, Santa Barbara used highly focused X-rays to map out the nanoscale physical and chemical properties of these electronic devices.
It is thought memristors, with the ability to 'remember' the total electronic charge that passes through them, will be of greatest benefit when they can act like synapses within electronic circuits, mimicking the complex network of neurons present in the brain, enabling our own ability to perceive, think and remember.
John Paul Strachan of the nanoElectronics Research Group, Hewlett-Packard Labs, California, said: "One of the biggest hurdles in using these devices is understanding how they work: the microscopic picture for how they undergo such tremendous and reversible change in resistance.
"We now have a direct picture for the thermal profile that is highly localized around this channel during electrical operation, and is likely to play a large role in accelerating the physics driving the memristive behaviour."
The study is detailed in IOP Publishing's Nanotechnology.