Neuromimetic photonics

Contact: Sylvain BARBAY

Neuromimetic systems  imitate the functionalities of biological neurons or the architectures of biological systems for neuro-inspired computation and information processing. These systems could allow to fulfill complex tasks (visual or vocal recognition, associative memories, logic...) getting inspiration from the way the brain process information while being energy efficient, fast and not very sensitive to noisy environments. In this project we investigate how neuromimetic (or neuromorphic) systems can be implemented in photonics for e.g. artificial neural networks, reservoir computing…


Our main system are excitable micropillar lasers with integrated saturable absorber. We have shown that these microlasers can be integrated and display interesting and ultra-fast neuromimetic properties such as refractory periods (absolute and relative), temporal summation, regenerative spiking, to mention a few Our aim is to investigate the physics of these building blocks and how they could be used as nodes in a network to efficiently process information and compute (artificial neural networks).


Alejandro Giacomotti (C2N)
Rémy Braive (C2N)
Isabelle Sagnes (C2N)
Grégoire Beaudoin (C2N)
Guy Aubin (C2N)
Farah Amar (C2N)
Abderrahim Ramdane (C2N)
Laurie Calvet (C2N/Dpt Nanoelectronics)

Bernd Krauskopf (Univ. Auckland)
Thomas Erneux (Univ. Libre de Bruxelles)
Marcel G. Clerc (Univ. Chile, Santiago)


Microlasers for neuromorphic computing: invited review in Photoniques (SFO magazine)

Sept-oct 2020 Focus issue on Photonics and artificial intelligence
Microlasers for neuromorphic computing


Computing and propagation of excitations in evanescently coupled microlasers

Photonic Computing with Single and Coupled Spiking Micropillar Lasers
Invited Review Article in Special Issue of IEEE J. Sel. Topics Quantum Electron. (2019)


Regenerative pulsing in a micropillar laser with saturable absorber and with delayed optical feedback

Pulse-timing symmetry breaking in an excitable optical system with delay,
Phys. Rev. E 103, 012201 (2021).

Equalization of pulse timings in an excitable microlaser system with delay
Phys. Rev. Research 2, 023012 (2020).

Pulse train interaction and control in a microcavity laser with delayed optical feedback
Opt. Lett. 43, 3013 (2018)

Relative refractory period in a micropillar laser with integrated SA

Two distinct excitable responses for a laser with a saturable absorber
Phys. Rev. E 97, 062214 (2018)

Spike latency and response properties of an excitable micropillar laser,
Phys. Rev. E 94, 042219 (2016)

Relative Refractory Period in an Excitable Semiconductor Laser,
Phys. Rev. Lett. 112, 183902 (2014), (Semiconductor Lasers Get Nervy, Synopsis in Physics, & Laser mimics biological neurons using light, News in


A micropillar laser as a coincidence detector neuron

Temporal summation in a neuromimetic micropillar laser
Opt. Lett. 40, 5690 (2015)

Excitable behaviour in a semiconductor laser with saturable absorber
Excitability in a semiconductor laser with saturable absorber,
Opt. Lett. 36, 4476 (2011)





  Labex NanoSaclay CANAPO, (Coord., 2021-2023)

  ANR ANACONDA (Coord., 2020-2023),

  FET FunComp (Partner, 2018-2022),

  ANR OPTIROC (Partner, 2013-2016),

  Labex LASIPS LATINO, (Coord., 2017-2018)