Nucleic Acid Electronics: from Chemistry to Circuits

Verma, Jiyati, Electrical Engineering - School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Bean, John, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Virginia

Traditionally, researchers select inorganic materials as the prime nano-element solutions for next-generation nanoelectronics: this thesis reconsiders this choice of material. Such materials are not given to adding complexity, an important next step in the development of nanoelectronics, to build circuits. The biological principles governing organic materials enable a type of self-assembly that is more amenable to adding complexity. We want a nano-element that (1) we can easily position accurately on the nano-scale and (2) works electrically, spintronically, magnetically, photonically, etc.

For the majority of this paper, we analyze DNA, and its strengths and weaknesses with respect to electronics. Although DNA can be manipulated and positioned accurately in nano-scale dimensions, it is at best a weak conductor. Other strengths include its ability to metallize it in a sequence-specific manner using a specific protein. In addition, other organic materials, other nucleic acids, and another metallization scheme is explored. At the end, a way of integrating existing ideas is suggested. Such a combination of ideas, where the chemistry of the base materials could be used to build a greater circuit, could help nanoelectronics develop into a more viable technology.

MS (Master of Science)
nanoelectronics, M-DNA, nanotechnology, DNA transistor, Nucleic acid electronics, DNA electronics
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