Navigation Links
Biodegradable transistors -- made from us
Date:3/7/2012

Silicon, a semi-conducting element, is the basis of most modern technology, including cellular phones and computers. But according to Tel Aviv University researchers, this material is quickly becoming outdated in an industry producing ever-smaller products that are less harmful to the environment.

Now, a team including Ph.D. students Elad Mentovich and Netta Hendler of TAU's Department of Chemistry and The Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, with supervisor Dr. Shachar Richter and in collaboration with Prof. Michael Gozin and his Ph.D. student Bogdan Belgorodsky, has brought together cutting-edge techniques from multiple fields of science to create protein-based transistors semi-conductors used to power electronic devices from organic materials found in the human body. They could become the basis of a new generation of nano-sized technologies that are both flexible and biodegradable.

Working with blood, milk, and mucus proteins which have the ability to self-assemble into a semi-conducting film, the researchers have already succeeded in taking the first step towards biodegradable display screens, and they aim to use this method to develop entire electronic devices. Their research, which has appeared in the journals Nano Letters and Advanced Materials, recently received a silver award at the Materials Research Society Graduate Student Awards in Boston, MA.

Building the best transistor from the bottom up

One of the challenges of using silicon as a semi-conductor is that a transistor must be created with a "top down" approach. Manufacturers start with a sheet of silicon and carve it into the shape that is needed, like carving a sculpture out of a rock. This method limits the capabilities of transistors when it comes to factors such as size and flexibility.

The TAU researchers turned to biology and chemistry for a different approach to building the ideal transistor. When they appled various combinations of blood, milk, and mucus proteins to any base material, the molecules self-assembled to create a semi-conducting film on a nano-scale. In the case of blood protein, for example, the film is approximately four nanometers high. The current technology in use now is 18 nanometers, says Mentovich.

Together, the three different kinds of proteins create a complete circuit with electronic and optical capabilities, each bringing something unique to the table. Blood protein has the ability to absorb oxygen, Mentovich says, which permits the "doping" of semi-conductors with specific chemicals in order to create specific technological properties. Milk proteins, known for their strength in difficult environments, form the fibers which are the building blocks of the transistors, while the mucosal proteins have the ability to keep red, green and, blue fluorescent dyes separate, together creating the white light emission that is necessary for advanced optics.

Overall, the natural abilities of each protein give the researchers "unique control" over the resulting organic transistor, allowing adjustments for conductivity, memory storage, and fluorescence among other characteristics.

A new era of technology

Technology is now shifting from a silicon era to a carbon era, notes Mentovich, and this new type of transistor could play a big role. Transistors built from these proteins will be ideal for smaller, flexible devices that are made out of plastic rather than silicon, which exists in wafer form that would shatter like glass if bent. The breakthrough could lead to a new range of flexible technologies, such as screens, cell phones and tablets, biosensors, and microprocessor chips.

Just as significant, because the researchers are using natural proteins to build their transistor, the products they create will be biodegradable. It's a far more environmentally friendly technology that addresses the growing problem of electronic waste, which is overflowing landfills worldwide.


'/>"/>

Contact: George Hunka
ghunka@aftau.org
212-742-9070
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Researchers develop worlds first biodegradable joint implant
2. Biodegradable mulches successfully control weeds in container-grown arborvitae
3. Plastic fantastic - the future of biodegradables
4. Study: Biodegradable products may be bad for the environment
5. Microreactors: Small scale chemistry could lead to big improvements for biodegradable polymers
6. The sweetness of biodegradable plastics
7. Biodegradable foam plastic substitute made from milk protein and clay
8. New biodegradable compound facilitates bone regeneration in cases of substantial loss
9. Biodegradable particles can bypass mucus, release drugs over time
10. Stanford researchers develop biodegradable substitutes for wood, plastic bottles and other materials
11. Biodegradable mulch films on the horizon
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/21/2017)... LONDON , February 21, 2017 ... um 70 Millionen US-Dollar wachsen. Nach einem Gespräch mit mehr ... es einige Hindernisse zu überwinden gilt, um diese Prognose ... ... unter anderem die Mobilisierung der finanziellen Mittel für die ...
(Date:2/13/2017)... , Feb. 13, 2017  RSA Conference -- ... platform that is designed to enhance fraud detection ... release in the RSA Fraud & Risk Intelligence ... organizations to leverage additional insights from internal and ... to better protect their customers from targeted cybercrime ...
(Date:2/9/2017)... , Feb. 9, 2017 The biomass boiler ... of the biomass boiler market globally in terms of ... biomass boilers. The market for biomass boilers has been ... end-user, application, and country/region. The market based on feedstock ... forest residues, biogas & energy crops, urban residues, and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/23/2017)... , Feb. 23, 2017 Aviva ... tools, announced the acquisition of GenWay Biotech Incorporated, ... comprehensive service and product offering for both the ... will facilitate growth and enhance capabilities for both ... and ELISA assays will nicely complement ASB,s objective ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... UK (PRWEB) , ... February 22, 2017 , ... ... optics and photonics , have been named Fellows of the Society this year, ... technical contributions in the multidisciplinary fields of optics, photonics, and imaging as well ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... February 22, 2017 , ... ... has acquired Kendall Research Systems, LLC (KRS) clinical development program. KRS ... neural interface technology for research and clinical applications. The terms of the transaction ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... 22, 2017  PrimeVax Immuno-Oncology, Inc. announced today its ... the Annual Biocom Global Life Science Partnering Conference.  The ... AM, at the Torrey Pines Lodge, in San Diego.  ... at Biocom who have chosen our company, amongst numerous ... companies, investors, and clinical researchers," said Mr. Chen. "In ...
Breaking Biology Technology: