Rapid development of artificial intelligence techniques ignites the emerging demand on accurate perception and understanding of optical signals from external environments via brain-like visual systems. Here, enabled by quasi-two-dimensional electron gases (quasi-2DEGs) in InGaO3(ZnO)3 superlattice nanowires (NWs), an artificial visual system was built to mimic the human ones. This system is based on an unreported device concept combining coexistence of oxygen adsorption-desorption kinetics on NW surface and strong carrier quantum-confinement effects in superlattice core, to resemble the biological Ca2+ ion flux and neurotransmitter release dynamics. Given outstanding mobility and sensitivity of superlattice NWs, an ultralow energy consumption down to subfemtojoule per synaptic event is realized in quasi-2DEG synapses, which rivals that of biological synapses and now available synapse-inspired electronics. A flexible quasi-2DEG artificial visual system is demonstrated to simultaneously perform high-performance light detection, brain-like information processing, nonvolatile charge retention, in situ multibit-level memory, orientation selectivity, and image memorizing.
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