Nano-Micro Letters

Nanoscale All-Oxide-Heterostructured Bio-inspired Optoresponsive Nociceptor

Mohammad Karbalaei Akbari1, 2, *, Jie Hu3, Francis Verpoort4, Hongliang Lu5, Serge Zhuiykov1, 2, *

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Nano-Micro Lett. (2020) 12: 83

First Online: 01 April 2020 (Article)


*Corresponding author. E-mail: Serge.Zhuiykov@ugent.be (Serge Zhuiykov); Mohammad.akbari@ugent.be (Mohammad Karbalaei Akbari)





Retina nociceptor, as a key sensory receptor, not only enables the transport of warning signals to the human central nervous system upon its exposure to noxious stimuli, but also triggers the motor response that minimize potential sensitization. In this study, the capability of two-dimensional all-oxide-heterostructured artificial nociceptor as a single device with tunable properties was confirmed. Newly designed nociceptors utilize ultra-thin sub-stoichiometric TiO2-Ga2O3 heterostructures, where the thermally annealed Ga2O3 films play the role of charge transfer controlling component. It is discovered that the phase transformation in Ga2O3 is accompanied by substantial jump in conductivity, induced by thermally-assisted internal redox reaction of Ga2O3 nanostructure during annealing. It is also experimentally confirmed that the charge transfer in all-oxide-heterostructures can be tuned and controlled by the heterointerfaces manipulation. Results demonstrate that the engineering of heterointerfaces of two-dimensional (2D) films enables the fabrication of either high-sensitive TiO2-Ga2O3 (Ar) or high threshold TiO2-Ga2O3 (N2) nociceptors. The hypersensitive nociceptor mimics the functionalities of corneal nociceptors of human eye whereas the delayed reaction of nociceptor is similar to high threshold nociceptive characteristics of human sensory system. The long-term stability of 2D nociceptors demonstrates the capability of heterointerfaces engineering for effective control of charge transfer at 2D heterostructured devices. 



2D heterostructures, Artificial nociceptors, Bio-inspired device, Heterointerfaces engineering

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