Conducting swift heavy ion track networks Academic Article uri icon


  • In this paper, the electronic behavior of conducting swift heavy ion track networks is studied. On the one hand, the transient conductivity of ion tracks in metal oxides on silicon in status nascendi is exploited for this purpose, and on the other hand, conducting tracks are produced by ion irradiation of insulating membranes (either self-supported or deposited onto silicon substrates), subsequent etching and finally inserting conducting materials of whatever provenience (in this work preferentially electrolytes). Depending on their manufacture, the conducting tracks either act as electronically active or passive elements. When applying a voltage across individual tracks in the first case, one observes current spikes with negative differential resistances. These tracks interact among themselves, leading to phase-locked synchronous coupled oscillations with complex patterns that are quite similar to those emerging from neural networks. The other case corresponds to networks of electronically passive conducting tracks which become overall electronically active only through their collective interactions. Though the aforementioned effects had been experimentally described earlier, they are re-visited here to make clear that the corresponding systems have to be considered as being artificial neural networks. On this occasion, some new findings are added.

publication date

  • March 1, 2010