NSTI Nanotech 2009

Creation of a self-assembling molecular transistor scaffold

S. White, P.G. Stockley, G. Davies, C. Wälti
Astbury Centre, University of Leeds, UK

Keywords: transistor, M13 bacteriophage, microphage, self-assembly


The goal of my work is to create a self-assembling molecular transistor using the M13 bacteriophage. As part of this process we have made use of the incorporation of selenocysteine in the minor coat protein pIII to create phage that bind both gold nanoparticles and cadmium selenide quantum dots. These phage self-assemble around the nanoparticles creating a scaffold for the biotemplating of a transistor-type architecture. Using a gold binding peptide on the major coat protein pVIII we are depositing gold on the phage surrounding the quantum dot; creating nanowires that will act as the electrodes of the transistor. In order to control the length of the wires that interact with the quantum dot we have created a modification of the 50 nm long microphage. By controlling the amount of DNA packaged within the microphage we have been able to make a number of different length phage particles that exhibit the same bio-templating properties as the wild-type phage; including expression of a gold binding peptide on the major coat protein pVIII. Work is currently directed at the self-assembly and purification of species with the necessary stoichiometry and geometry to create a device.
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