Scientists produced the world’s smallest diode
13 April, 2016
A cooperation between the Ben Gurion University in Israel and US University of Georgia has led to a breakthrough: molecule size electronic Diode
A scientific cooperation between the Ben Gurion University in Israel and US University of Georgia has led to a breakthrough: molecule size electronic Diode
Dr. Bingqian Xu, principal investigator and associate professor in the University of Georgia College of engineering and Dr. Yonatan Dubi from the University of Ben Gurion, Israel, successfully created a nano scale electronic diode from a single DNA molecule. They believe it is the smallest diode ever built.
A diode is an electrical component allowing current to flow in one direction in an electric circuit, blocking current in the opposite direction, and is used in virtually every electronic device. “The creation and characterization of the world’s smallest diode is a major milestone in the development of molecular electronic devices,” said Dr. Dubi.
The Project started in Dr. Xu’s research group. The researchers connected a single duplex DNA of 11 base pairs to an electrical circuit (The size the molecule is no more than several nano meters). The researchers found that the DNA exhibited the properties of a diode when a smaller Coralyne molecule called was inserted into it.
The current flowing through the coralyne-enhanced molecule was 15 times greater for negative voltages than for positive ones – an indication of a diode-like behavior – by a single DNA molecule. DR. Dubi and his student Zerah-Harush used those results to construct a theoretical model of the phenomenon.
The model identified the breaking of the DNA’s spatial symmetry due to the insertion of the Coralyne molecule, as the source for the DNA’s atypical behavior. These findings were published in the Nature Chemistry. The researchers believe that study has proved that DNA molecules based electronic components can be produced.
They believe that further research may lead to major breakthroughs in the production of nano meter sized molecular components 1,000 times smaller than the smallest exiting transistors. The two research teams continue their cooperation, trying to create further molecular components and to improve the performance of their molecular diode.