Prof. Tomonobu Nakayama

Current: Deputy and Administrative Director & Principal Investigator of International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics (WPI-MANA) . Professor at the Graduate School of Pure and Applied Sciences, University of Tsukuba

I am exploring neuromorphic network materials and developing devices using such network materials. Feature of our approach is the use “complex and random” neuromorphic network. The network provides a highly interconnected structure between huge number of synaptic elements which are not individually controlled, which is remarkably similar to the neuron network in the brain.

Although there are growing research fields about neuromorphic devices and computing which utilize synaptic devices “memristors”, they are mostly trying to fabricate integrated circuits which can be controlled in the same manner as the conventional computers: Individual synaptic elements should be precisely controlled and be driven in line with pre-designed logics (program), for example. As anyone can understand, this way is far different from what we are doing with our brains. My team and collaborators are focusing on emergent and dynamic behaviors such as self-organized criticality (SOC) appearing in non-biological materials systems and are seeking ways to utilize their emerging functionalities for future information processing.

To say honestly, I am not all a specialist in “biological brain science” but I do believe I that the emergent dynamics is one of the important and essential features of the human brain and that also appears in our neuromorphic networks. Comparison between functionalities of the biological brain and the non-biological neuromorphic networks would contribute to the progress of true brain science.

1988-1989: Researcher, Central Research Laboratories, Mitsui Mining & Smelting Co. Ltd.

1989-1991: Researcher, ERATO “Aono Atomcraft Project”, JST.

1991-2002: Researcher, Senior Researcher (1999-), Vice-chief Scientist(2000-), RIKEN.

2002-2004: Director (associate), Nanomaterials Lab., NIMS.

2004-Present: Group Leader of Nano-FIG, Nano System Functionality Center (moved to MANA from 2008), NIMS.

2004-2013: Associate Professor, University of Tsukuba.

2007-2008: Director of Nano System Functionality Center, NIMS.

2008-Present: Principal Investigator, MANA, NIMS

2013-Present: Professor, University of Tsukuba

2015-present: Administrative Director, MANA, NIMS

2016-present: Deputy Director of ICYS, NIMS.

2017-present: Deputy Director, MANA, NIMS.


2001-2002: Visiting Professor at the Institute of Physics, National Chiao-Tung University, Taiwan.

2002-2004: Visiting Lecturer at Tokyo Institute of Technology.

2017-2018: Visiting Professor at the School of Physics, University of Sydney.

2018-Present: Honorary Professor at the School of Physics, University of Sydney.