Brown Engineers Use DNA To Direct Nanowire Assembly And Growth

By | December 16, 2006

Brown Engineers Use DNA To Direct Nanowire Assembly And Growth

A research team led by Brown University engineers has harnessed the coding power of DNA to create zinc oxide nanowires on top of carbon nanotube tips. The feat, detailed in the journal Nanotechnology, marks the first time that DNA has been used to direct the assembly and growth of complex nanowires. …The tiny new structures can create and detect light and, with mechanical pressure, generate electricity. The wires? optical and electrical properties would allow for a range of applications, from medical diagnostics and security sensors to fiber optical networks and computer circuits.

?The use of DNA to assemble nanomaterials is one of the first steps toward using biological molecules as a manufacturing tool,? said Adam Lazareck, a graduate student in Brown?s Division of Engineering. ?If you want to make something, turn to Mother Nature. From skin to sea shells, remarkable structures are engineered using DNA.?

Engineers in the lab of Jimmy Xu used DNA to grow zinc oxide nanowires like this one on the tips of carbon nanotubes. The zinc oxide wires created in the lab measured between 100 and 200 nanometers long. – scidaily

I saw the headline and had a humorous moment where I imagined someone wondering why the color of the Engineers was even mentioned.

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