The trilateral consortium "Single molecule based memories" (CU 44/3-2) started in September 2005 having the Molecular Computing group as coordinator unit.
SP1 is an extremely stable ring-like protein complex with a diameter of 11 nanometers and height of 4 nm. The SP1 ring exhibits 6 N-termini to each face of the ring. The N-termini were engineered to bind gold nanoparticles on both sides of the ring. These SP1-nanoparticles hybrids may serve as building blocks for molecular nano-fabrication of various nanostructures in a "lego-like" fashion. They enable to form, e.g., long wires of alternating SP1 protein rings and nanoparticles, where, by genetic engineering, the distance between protein rings, and thus the electrical properties of the wires may be manipulated. The SP1 rings can, alternatively, form large ordered 2D arrays that will ultimately serve as ultra high density memory. TEM, HAADF-STEM, AFM and EFM were used to demonstrate successful binding of gold nano-particles to SP1 central cavity and the formation of wires and 2D arrays.
- To fabricate nano-wires, nano-structures, nano-devices and ultra-high density nano-arrays for nanoelectronics and memory applications using genetic engineering and to investigate the morphology and electrical characteristics of these structures by physical methods
- To study the effect of stretching on the electrical characteristics of single molecules.
- To provide the theoretical understanding of charging of gold cluster at SP1 molecules and there large scale integration in quantum cellular automata architectures
The collaboration started as Dr. Sowwan, now at Al Quds University, did his postdoctoral work in the lab of Dr. Porath in 2002-2004. Together with Porath's collaborators, Prof. Shoseyov from the Faculty of Agriculture at HUJI and Dr. Cuniberti from the University of Regensburg they formed an ongoing collaboration team that develops and investigates nano-fabricated genetically engineered nanostructures. The materials are prepared by the group of Shoseyov, transferred to Porath's and Sowwan groups for various characterizations and electrical measurements and the results are transferred to Shoseyov's group as a feedback and to Cuniberti's group for theoretical analysis. Other aspects of the joint Israeli-Palestinian research are done in collaboration with Prof. Helene Bouchiat from Universit√© Paris Sud, Orsay France.
Part of this collaboration is financed by the UNESCO. Such activity has been featured in a Science ``News Focus''Article:
John Bohannon, ISRAEL-PALESTINE SCIENCE: Bridging the Divide in the Holy Land, Science 312, 352 (2006). (html full text, pdf full text)