Recording neural activity in live animals in vivo with minimal tissue damage is one of the major barriers to understanding the nervous system. This paper presents the technology for a tetherless opto-electronic neural interface based on 180 nm CMOS circuits, heterogeneously integrated with an AlGaAs diode that functions as both a photovoltaic and light emitting diode. These microscale opto-electrically transduced electrodes (MOTEs) are powered by and communicate through an optical interface, simultaneously enabling high temporal-resolution electrical measurements without a tether or a bulky RF coil. The MOTE presented here is 250 μm × 57 μm, consumes 1 μW of electrical power, and is capable of capturing and encoding neural signals before transmitting the encoded signals. The measured noise floor is as low as 15 μVRMS at a 15 kHz bandwidth.