Nanocircuits for single molecule chemistry and biology

Y. Choi, I. Moody, P. Sims, G.A. Weiss, P.G. Collins
Univ. of California Irvine, US

Keywords: nanotube, biosensor, lysozyme

Summary:

The stated motivation for “molecular electronics” usually covers conventional scaling, but a more exciting vision includes applications that no products currently achieve. For example, devices at the single molecule scale allow the study of the dynamic activities of constituent molecules, including chemical bonding, biocatalysis, and molecular recognition, all with single molecule precision. Towards this end, our research focuses on a promising new architecture of single molecule circuitry based on carbon nanotube wiring. The techniques, free of precision lithography or mechanical manipulation, produce single attachment sites in highly sensitive, carbon nanotube circuits. The devices allow real-time monitoring of chemical processes including oxidation, conjugation, recognition and binding, all resolved with single molecule precision. This presentation will describe the direct interrogation of single molecule kinetics by the enzyme lysozyme, and the observation of rate-limiting effects upon enzyme mutagenesis. The results provide a concrete example of new opportunities for electronic devices in the sensing and assaying of chemical and biochemical activity.