World's Smallest Diode Created By Single Molecule Of DNA

Posted: Apr 5 2016, 9:18am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

World's Smallest Diode Created by Single Molecule of DNA
The University of Georgia and Ben-Gurion University research team site-specifically inserted a small molecule named coralyne into the DNA and were able to create a single-molecule diode, which can be used as an active element in future nanoscale circuits. Credit: University of Georgia and Ben-Gurion University
  • Experts employ DNA Strand to make the Tiniest of Diodes

The experts have employed a DNA strand to make the tiniest of diodes in the entire global village.

Ben-Gurion University in Israel and University of Georgia researchers have shown that nanoscale electronic components can be formed from single DNA strands.

Their study was published in the journal Nature Chemistry.

This could serve as a substitute for the microchip. These circumstances may lead to smaller electronic stuff that is faster and more potent in its nature. The trend has been towards smaller and smaller chips.

The finding may eventually lead to smaller, more powerful and more advanced electronic devices, according to the study's lead author, Bingqian Xu.

However, now the envelope has been pushed wide open and we have reached the level of genetic materials being used in nano-electronics. The only problem is that with such an extreme level of miniaturization, the performance of these microchips becomes destabilized and haphazard in nature.

"For 50 years, we have been able to place more and more computing power onto smaller and smaller chips, but we are now pushing the physical limits of silicon," said Xu, an associate professor in the UGA College of Engineering and an adjunct professor in chemistry and physics.

"If silicon-based chips become much smaller, their performance will become unstable and unpredictable."

A solution has to be found to this challenge of miniaturization. A molecule of DNA has stability, diversity and is programmed in advance. This makes it the ideal candidate for making microchips on the scale of nanotechnology.

A single molecule of DNA was used by scientists to make the globe’s tiniest diode. A diode allows current to flow in one direction but disallows its flow in another direction.

A single duplex DNA of 11 base pairs was selected to go along with an electronic circuit that was a couple of nanometers in width. After awhile a molecule of coralyne was injected into the DNA.

The current which went through the DNA was 15 times more powerful for negative voltages than positive voltages. This is a necessity in a diode. The finding was the opposite of what had been intuitively thought to occur.

The diode-like antics of the DNA were something altogether new for the researchers. This study opens up a new chapter in the field of nanotechnology. The performance of electronic components on such a smale scale could be driven to 1000 times the ordinary power they generate on a regular basis.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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