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Nat Nanotechnol. 2006 Oct;1(1):72-7. doi: 10.1038/nnano.2006.55.

Digital memory device based on tobacco mosaic virus conjugated with nanoparticles.

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  • 1Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of California-Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA.


Nanostructured viruses are attractive for use as templates for ordering quantum dots to make self-assembled building blocks for next-generation electronic devices. So far, only a few types of electronic devices have been fabricated from biomolecules due to the lack of charge transport through biomolecular junctions. Here, we show a novel electronic memory effect by incorporating platinum nanoparticles into tobacco mosaic virus. The memory effect is based on conductance switching, which leads to the occurrence of bistable states with an on/off ratio larger than three orders of magnitude. The mechanism of this process is attributed to charge trapping in the nanoparticles for data storage and a tunnelling process in the high conductance state. Such hybrid bio-inorganic nanostructures show promise for applications in future nanoelectronics.

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