|Ph.D Student||Keren Kinneret|
|Subject||Self-Assembly of Molecular-Scale Electronics by Genetic|
|Department||Department of Physics||Supervisors||Professor Erez Braun|
|Professor Uri Sivan|
Molecular electronics deals with the electronic properties of molecules and their incorporation into devices and circuits. Self-assembly based on recognition between molecular building blocks provides a promising route towards the realization of molecular electronics. Biology with its remarkable molecular recognition and self-assembly capabilities is particularly attractive for this task. The goal of this thesis was to develop a framework for harnessing the biological machinery and working principles for self-assembly of molecular electronics .
DNA-templated electronics has been proposed as a possible strategy for self-assembly of molecular electronics. The molecular recognition and self-assembly capabilities of DNA and its related proteins are first harnessed to create an elaborate substrate with well-defined molecular addresses. Electronic functionality is then instilled to the DNA scaffold by localizing electronic devices and interconnecting them by DNA-templated wires . The main contribution of this thesis is the development of "sequence-specific molecular lithography” on DNA, which provides a framework for defining the circuit architecture in DNA-templated electronics, analogous to photolithography in conventional microelectronics. Molecular lithography relies on homologous genetic-recombination processes carried out by the RecA protein from Escherichia-coli bacteria. In a sequence-specific manner, we were able to pattern the coating of DNA with metal, localize labeled molecular objects and grow metal islands on specific sites along the DNA substrate, and generate molecularly accurate stable DNA junctions. In our lithography, the patterning information is encoded into the sequence of the DNA molecules, replacing the masks used in conventional lithography. Relying on sequence-specific molecular lithography, we have demonstrated the first entirely self-assembled electronic device, a DNA-templated carbon-nanotube field-effect transistor . These developments promote DNA-templated electronics as a realistic strategy for self-assembly of molecular electronics.