Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Transistor Genetics: Scientists At The Weizmann Institute Use DNA To Assemble Nanosized Electronic Parts

Date:
January 12, 2005
Source:
Weizmann Institute
Summary:
Take a little DNA; add a pinch of carbon nanotubes; sprinkle in a few grains of gold, all on a clean silicon surface, and whip up a batch of nanotransistors – that’s pretty much what the research group of Prof. Ron Naaman of the Chemical Physics Department of the Weizmann Institute did. Only, they began with even more basic ingredients: tiny spoonfuls of phosphates, sugars and nucleotides that were used to create unique strands of DNA programmed to form attachments with carbon nanotubes.

A carbon nanotube (1) forms a bridge between two segments of DNA supported by gold contacts (2) that are attached to a silicon surface (3). (Graphic courtesy of Weizmann Institute)

Take a little DNA; add a pinch of carbon nanotubes; sprinkle in a few grains of gold, all on a clean silicon surface, and whip up a batch of nanotransistors – that’s pretty much what the research group of Prof. Ron Naaman of the Chemical Physics Department of the Weizmann Institute did. Only, they began with even more basic ingredients: tiny spoonfuls of phosphates, sugars and nucleotides that were used to create unique strands of DNA programmed to form attachments with carbon nanotubes.

Next, they used the same method to create another set of DNA strands that would hook up to miniscule electrical contacts made of gold that were anchored on the silicon surface. Afterwards, they added the first group of ingredients to the second and mixed well. The DNA strands fastened to the carbon nanotubes latched on to the strands attached to the gold contacts. The end result was a sort of carbon nanotube “bridge” spanning the silicon surface between two gold contacts.

Similar nanobridges between electrical contacts made of conducting materials such as gold may one day form the basis of tiny nanotransistors that will be used to build tiny, fast and efficient electronic circuits. In addition, the use of DNA may allow other biological molecules to be integrated into the circuit design that would interact with the DNA strands, thus modulating the behavior of the device. In their experiment, the results of which were published in Applied Physics Letters, the team managed to create nanotransistors with 10 percent of the available gold contact pairs, a figure they are currently working to improve.

The simple composition of DNA has inspired many scientists around the world to engineer its component nucleotides into new structures. Double-stranded DNA is shaped like a twisted ladder, each “step” constructed of two separate nucleotides. These nucleotides link up in a pre-determined way: thymine always affixes to adenine and guanine always to cytosine. Not only have scientists been able to link bits of DNA together to form new structures, they can make them attach to metals and carbon nanotubes, those atom-thick sheets of carbon rolled up into extra-strong hollow tubes the width of a mere 10 hydrogen atoms.

Though the Weizmann team is not the first to try building nanotransistors using DNA, their method appears to be the most suitable to date for large scale production and the development of a variety of industrial applications.

Prof. Ron Naaman's research is supported by the Fritz Haber Center for Physical Chemistry; the Ilse Katz Institute for Material Sciences and Magnetic Resonance Research; The Philip M. Klutznick Fund for Research; Dr. Pamela Scholl, Northbrook, IL; and the Wolfson Advanced Research Center.

Prof. Naaman is the incumbent of the Aryeh and Mintze Katzman Professorial Chair.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Weizmann Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Weizmann Institute. "Transistor Genetics: Scientists At The Weizmann Institute Use DNA To Assemble Nanosized Electronic Parts." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 January 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050111183312.htm>.
Weizmann Institute. (2005, January 12). Transistor Genetics: Scientists At The Weizmann Institute Use DNA To Assemble Nanosized Electronic Parts. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050111183312.htm
Weizmann Institute. "Transistor Genetics: Scientists At The Weizmann Institute Use DNA To Assemble Nanosized Electronic Parts." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050111183312.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Thanks, Marty McFly! Hoverboards Could Be Coming In 2015

Thanks, Marty McFly! Hoverboards Could Be Coming In 2015

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) If you've ever watched "Back to the Future Part II" and wanted to get your hands on a hoverboard, well, you might soon be in luck. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) Researchers in South Korea are developing a robotic pilot that could potentially replace humans in the cockpit. Unlike drones and autopilot programs which are configured for specific aircraft, the robots' humanoid design will allow it to fly any type of plane with no additional sensors. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Graphene Paint Offers Rust-Free Future

Graphene Paint Offers Rust-Free Future

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) British scientists have developed a prototype graphene paint that can make coatings which are resistant to liquids, gases, and chemicals. The team says the paint could have a variety of uses, from stopping ships rusting to keeping food fresher for longer. Jim Drury reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) Breeze, a portable breathalyzer, gets you home safely by instantly showing your blood alcohol content, and with one tap, lets you call an Uber, a cab or a friend from your contact list to pick you up. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins