Research on artificial synapses featured in Wired magazine

Posted on

james gimzewski small

An extensive article about the research project led by Professor Jim Gimzewski and alum Adam Steig (PhD ’07) was featured in the October 4, 2017 issue. 

SteigsmallStieg, (pictured right) a former graduate student in Gimzewski’s lab, is now a research scientist and associate director of the the California Nanosystems Institute. Their team is using nanowires and artificial synapses to generate the properties that enable the brain to do what it does.

Wired magazine is a monthly magazine that focuses on how emerging technologies affect culture, the economy, and politics. Read the full article, “Artificial Synapses Could Lead to Brainier, Super-Efficient Computers”, here.

Gimzewski is a Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at the University of California, Los Angeles; Faculty Director of the Nano & Pico Characterization Core Facility of the California NanoSystems Institute; Scientific Director of the Art|Sci Center and Principal Investigator and Satellites Co-Director of the WPI Center for Materials NanoArchitectonics (MANA) in Japan. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society.

Prior to joining the UCLA faculty, he was a group leader at IBM Zurich Research Laboratory, where he research in nanoscale science and technology from 1983 to 2001. Gimzewski pioneered research on mechanical and electrical contacts with single atoms and molecules using scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and was one of the first persons to image molecules with STM. His past accomplishments include the first STM-based fabrication of molecular suprastructures at room temperature using mechanical forces to push molecules across surfaces, the discovery of single molecule rotors.  He also developed new micro-nano sensors based on nanotechnology, which explore ultimate limits of sensitivity and measurement.

This approach has been used to convert biochemical recognition into Nanomechanics. His current interests are in the nanomechanics of cells and bacteria where he collaborates with the UCLA Medical and Dental Schools. He is involved in projects that range from the operation of X-rays, ions and nuclear fusion using pyroelectric crystals, direct deposition of carbon nanotubes using atmospheric plasma techniques and single molecule DNA profiling. Recently his research has focused on self organization and emergent behavior using a device called the atomic switch network (ASN) which aimed at creating a synthetic neocortex using self assembly atomic switches that act as synthetic synapses. Gimzewski is also involved in numerous art-science collaborative projects that have been exhibited in museums throughout the world.

To learn more about Gimzewski’s research, visit his group’s website.