Nature has kept on inspiring people by its plethora of innovations and different materials. One such material is the molecule of the DNA. It’s big thanks to its self-assembling properties. the Nano-science Center (NSC) of the University of Jyväskylä and BioMediTech (BMT) of the University of Tampere’s researchers have demonstrated a way of fabricating the electronic devices using DNA. The DNA has no such part in the electrical function but it acts as a scaffold for forming a linear and pearl-necklace like nano-structure that consists of three gold nano-particles. The research was totally funded by the Academy of Finland.
The electrical conduction’s nature in nano-scale materials can differ vastly from the regular metallic macro-scale structures that have numerous free electrons that are responsible for forming the current. Moreover, even an addition of a single electron can help in increasing its energy enough for preventing the conduction. Such an induction usually takes place through a quantum-mechanical effect that is called as tunneling. Where the electrons tunnel via an energy barrier.
Senior Lecturer Jussi Toppari from the NSC states that “Such single-electron devices have been fabricated on the scale of tens of nano-meters by using conventional micro- and nano-fabrication methods for more than two decades”. He also stated that he has already studied these structures in his Ph.D. assignments.
It was also stated that; “The weakness of these structures has been the cryogenic temperatures needed for them to work. Usually, the operation temperature of these devices scales up as the size of the components decreases. Our ultimate aim is to have the devices working at room temperature, which is hardly possible for conventional nano-fabrication methods – so new venues need to be found.”
The research resulted in building a long-term and multidisciplinary collaboration between the research groups involved. In addition to the above, Dr. Jenni Leppiniemi (BMT), Boxuan Shen (NSC), and Dr. Wolfgang Fritzsche (IPHT, Jena, Germany) contributed their best to the research.