Man-made computers are very impressive in their own right; however, the most efficient computer possible already exists and that is the human brain. It adapts without programming or updates, is speedy, and has nearly infinite memory. Computer scientists around the globe wish to mimic these abilities in physical technology.
Researchers at Northwestern University in Illinois are a few steps closer to making brain-like computing a reality. The team completed work on memristors. Memristors are resistors in a circuit that can “remember” how much current has flowed through them. A researcher at the university says that memristors are stable and can remember their state even when power is lost. However, the team did run into a problem when implementing the memristors. Since they are two-terminal electronic devices, they can only control one voltage channel. Researchers at Northwestern wanted to change it into a three-terminal device which could be used in more complex systems. To do so, the team used a two-dimensional nanomaterial semiconductor called single-layer molybdenum disulfide (MoS2). By using this material, they were able to create a three-terminal device that can be adjusted.
"With a memristor that can be tuned with a third electrode, we have the possibility to realize a function you could not previously achieve," Hersam said, "A three-terminal memristor has been proposed as a means of realizing brain-like computing. We are now actively exploring this possibility in the laboratory."
Link to original article: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150406153036.htm