Spike propagation in a nanolaser-based optoelectronic neuron

Ignacio Ortega-Piwonka, Matěj Hejda, Juan Alanis, João Lourenço, Antonio Hurtado, José Figueiredo, Bruno Romeira, Julien Javaloyes

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With the recent development of artificial intelligence and deep neural networks, alternatives to the Von Neumann architecture are in demand to run these algorithms efficiently in terms of speed, power and component size. In this theoretical study, a neuromorphic, optoelectronic nanopillar metal-cavity consisting of a resonant tunneling diode (RTD) and a nanolaser diode (LD) is demonstrated as an excitable pulse generator. With the proper configuration, the RTD behaves as an excitable system while the LD translates its electronic output into optical pulses, which can be interpreted as bits of information. The optical pulses are characterized in terms of their width, amplitude, response delay, distortion and jitter times. Finally, two RTD-LD units are integrated via a photodetector and their feasibility to generate and propagate optical pulses is demonstrated. Given its low energy consumption per pulse and high spiking rate, this device has potential applications as building blocks in neuromorphic processors and spiking neural networks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2679-2696
Number of pages18
JournalOptical Materials Express
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2022


  • deep neural networks
  • optoelectronic neuron
  • resonant tunneling diode
  • biological neurons


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