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A DNA Based Nanofabrication Technology for Electronic and Photonic Devices and Applications

M.J. Heller*, J. Cable, and S. Esener

Nanotronics and University of California, San Diego

This is an abstract for a talk to be given at the Fifth Foresight Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology.

An electric field directed nanofabriciation technology, based on self-organizing synthetic nucleic acids, is being developed for molecular diagnostic, photonic array devices, and high density optical memory applications. Synthetic nucleic acids (DNA) with intrinsic recognition and self-organizational properties are used to create component molecular photonic structures and to functionalize pre- formed submicron or micron scale semiconductor structures. The DNA derivatized structures, in a solvent, are placed on a microlectronic substrate or template device. This relatively simple template device contains an array of microlocations through which controlled electric fields are produced. These controlled electric fields are used to selectively transport and direct the two and three dimensional organization of the component molecular structures and other devices on the template surface. In essence, this technique allows one to carry out the controlled organization of complex molecular structures within defined perimeters of silicon or semiconductor structures produced by classical microfabrication techniques. The technology has the hierarchical logic of allowing one to control the organization and communication of structures and components from the molecular scale ---> to the submicron scale ---> to the micron scale ---> to the macroscopic scale. Microelectronic template arrays with 50 µm and 80 µm microlocations have been used to demonstrate the organization of complex fluorescent DNA molecular structures and mechanisms within selected microlocations on the array device. Additionally, the devices have been used to transport 20 nm, 200 nm, 500 nm DNA derivatized nanospheres, and 1 µm to 5 µm gallium arsenide particles to selected microlocations on the surface. Some of the potential applications for this fabrication technology include: (1) DNA chip arrays for genetic and infectious disease diagnostic analysis, (2) a fabrication technique for integrated photonic devices and for diode displays, and (3) a multi-wavelength high density optical data storage material.

*Corresponding Address:
Michael J. Heller, Ph.D., Vice President Research, Nanotronics, Inc., 10398 Pacific Center Court, San Diego, Ca 92121, ph: 619-546-7700 fax:619-546-7717
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