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제목 Seeing eye to artificial eye: New technology mimics the way the human eye processes images using transparent solar cells
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작성일 2020.02.19 15:53:09 조회수 38
summary Basic functionalities of the visual cortex can be mimicked in a newly proposed device developed by s
prof. 전기공학과 김준동 교수님

 

PRESS RELEASE                                                                                             

 

Seeing eye to artificial eye: New technology mimics the way the human eye processes images using transparent solar cells

 

 

Basic functionalities of the visual cortex can be mimicked in a newly proposed device developed by scientists

 

 

Scientists propose a newly developed technology that mimics some basic functionalities of the human visual cortex, that relate to how shape is perceived. This can boost the development of artificial visual applications further.

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Scientists propose a computational framework that resembles how certain visual information is processed by the eye. Photo credits: Shutterstock

Eyesight is arguably the most utilized of the five senses of humans. Neural networks connected to the eye process visual information efficiently. During visual processing, optical information captured by the retina transmits signals via the optic nerves to cells in the lateral geniculate nucleus. This information is passed on to cells of the visual cortex, which respond according to the shapes perceived. Allowing computers to imitate this system can benefit medical science, artificial intelligence, and computing, and has been a subject of great research.

 

Since the 1980s, electronic circuits have been used to mimic neurological and biological processes in the central nervous system, in the field of neuromorphic technology. These technologies provide an essential step towards advancing future technologies that involve artificial visual and memory applications, whether they are on our PCs or smartphones.

 

As climate change continues to be a pressing issue, there has been interest in optimizing such electronic devices for energy efficiency and environmental sustainability. Sunlight provides a clean, renewable source of power for photovoltaics—devices that produce electric energy from solar energy. Interestingly, 41.45% of the sun's electromagnetic radiation is invisible to us, comprising ultraviolet and infrared photons. Scientists show we can harness the invisible UV energy by converting the invisible photons into electricity.

 

With a vision for a more sustainable future, Prof Joondong Kim from Incheon National University, Korea, and his team have proposed the concept for a new device that mimics some of the basic functionalities of the eye, using photovoltaic methods, in Advanced Materials. This is more energy-efficient than previous tools, as Prof Kim explains, “Unlike more limited conventional technologies, neuromorphic devices can solve unformulated complex problems with its self-energy supply mode.”

 

A thin film was prepared to develop 2D-embedded transparent photovoltaics that absorb UV light and produces energy, while passing the visible light to the human eye. The invisible power generator can be applied to cell phone screens and windows of vehicles and buildings,

and has the advantage of spontaneously reducing the UV-induced damage on skin and eyes.

 

Moreover, this self-powered transparent device not only resembles basic functionalities of the visual cortex, but is also energy-efficient and made with eco-friendly materials.Earth-abundant and non-toxic metal oxides form frames for 2D layered light-absorber.

 

The researchers’ device successfully mimicked basic image processing functions of the human visual cortex, using photovoltaic-based methods, to present an energy-efficient approach for neuromorphic computing applications. The device can successfully mimic brain-like functions in response to shape perception (orientation selectivity) and the perception of time and space (spatiotemporal processing).

 

Reflecting on the widespread benefits to artificial intelligence computing technologies, Prof Kim summarizes, “This highly transparent, photonic triggered device paves the way for the advancement of self-powered neuromorphic computation.

 

Reference

Authors:

Mohit Kumar1, Malkeshkumar Patel1, and Joondong Kim1*

Titles of original papers:

 A Transparent Photonic Artificial Visual Cortex (main)

2D layer-embedded transparent photovoltaics (secondary)

Journals:

Advanced Materials

Nano Energy

DOI:

https://www.doi.org.10.1002/adma.201903095

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nanoen.2019.104328  

Affiliations:

1Photoelectric and Energy Device Application Lab (PEDAL), Multidisciplinary Core Institute for Future Energies (MCIFE) and Department of Electrical Engineering, Incheon National University, 119 Academy Rd. Yeonsu, Incheon 22012, Republic of Korea

 

*Corresponding author’s email: joonkim@incheon.ac.kr

 

 

About Incheon National University

 

Incheon National University (INU) is a comprehensive, student-focused university. It was founded in 1979 and given university status in 1988. One of the largest universities in South Korea, it houses nearly 14,000 students and 500 faculty members. In 2010, INU merged with Incheon City College to expand capacity and open more curricula. With its commitment to academic excellence and an unrelenting devotion to innovative research, INU offers its students real-world internship experiences. INU not only focuses on studying and learning but also strives to provide a supportive environment for students to follow their passion, grow, and, as their slogan says, be INspired.

 

Website: /mbshome/mbs/inuengl/index.html

 

About Professor Joondong Kim

Dr Joondong Kim is a professor at the Department of Electrical Engineering at Incheon National University in Korea and a head of Multidisciplinary Core Institute for Future Energies (MCIFE). He majored in Electrical Engineering and earned his PhD in 2006 from the University at Buffalo, State University of New York, Buffalo, NY, USA; he received his MS in 2001 from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, USA. His research work deals the design of functional materials and neo-conception devices, neuromorphic memories, photosensors, transparent photovoltaics. He published about 220 SCI papers and holds 150 patents.

 

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