November 22, 2003

First Biologically Self-Assembled Nanotransistor

More science fiction becomes science fact, as a team at Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have built a nano-scale transistor using a DNA molecule as the "assembler."

According to this article, the team started with a long strand of DNA to use as the template for the device. They coated graphite nanotubes with antibodies that caused them to bind to the DNA strand in the desired locations. Then, the team turned the remainder of the DNA molecule into a conducting wire by adding a solution of silver ions that chemically attached themselves to the phosphate backbone of the DNA, "condensing" as silver metal after the team added aldehyde to the solution. With the addition of gold (which, according to the article, "nucleated" on the silver), the team produced functioning carbon nanotube transistors with gold and silver leads.

I am certainly not a molecular biologist, so I hope I properly summarized the technique used here. This sure seems like big stuff for small stuff.

(Via Geekpress).

Posted by JohnL at November 22, 2003 12:34 AM
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