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Communications of the ACM


Life Points the Way to a New Template For Chipmaking

metallized DNA forming the letter O

Metallized DNA (in red) is built up to form the letter O on a graphene substrate.

Credit: Zhong Jin

DNA, the building block for our genes, may provide the key to the bottom-up assembly of complex, nanometer-scale circuits, following research performed by scientists based at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that used the biomolecule to carve patterns in graphene lying on the surface of a silicon wafer.

However, researchers need to overcome significant obstacles to make the processes viable on an industrial scale.


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