Jan 03, 2017 10:00 AM EST
DNA Data Storage Could Be The Future In Nanotechnology
Nanotechnology holds a lot of promise to almost every aspect of our lives from consumer electronics to ending life-threatening illnesses. However, the greatest challenge nanotechnology is facing is the limitation of how much smaller they can shrink the physical size of semiconductors. However, a group of scientists are taking that challenge and if they are successful, we may be well on our way to a future much wilder than science fiction - molecular electronics.
Molecular electronics works at the most minute scale using single molecules including its sub properties and characteristics. The concept of molecular electronics was first originated in 1997 by Mark Reed and his colleagues.
This is what a team of Russian and Israeli scientists are trying to explore as the demand for smaller electronic devices proliferate. Their study proposes to "metallize" DNA using nanoparticles of silver.
Why DNA and silver nanoparticles?
First of all, the DNA can hold a great amount of information despite its small size. What's more intriguing is that the ability of DNA is not limited to storing only genetic information. The study has revealed that the DNA has more uncanny and unique features.
The first feature they discovered was that the DNA has superconducting abilities when placed between two superconductors. The second feature was that they can effect charge transport, which happen when you introduce metal atoms along the strand. Moreover, the scientists also discovered that the conductivity of the DNA molecules depend on the type of substrate they are placed on.
Although the scientists were able to 'metallize' atoms, the distribution was not even along the entire length of the strands, which means not all of it becomes 'metal.' However, they found out that these DNA molecules can interact with silver nanoparticles resulting in an even metal DNA strand.
If further experimentation and testing become successful, such nanowire would be 1.1 nanometers high and 400 nanometers long.
The study is published in Advanced Materials
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