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Researchers Look to Put Living Cells on Transistor Chip

University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Abhijeet Prasad, Distinguished Professor Ravi Saraf, and Aashish Subedi in Saraf's lab

Researchers Abhijeet Prasad (left), Distinguished Professor Ravi Saraf (center), and Aashish Subedi in Saraf's University of Nebraska-Lincoln lab.

Credit: Craig Chandler / University of Nebraska-Lincoln

A team led by University of Nebraska-Lincoln researcher Ravi Saraf is one step closer to developing a transistor chip that harnesses the biological responses of living organisms to drive current through the device. The team developed tiny networks of self-assembling necklaces made of gold particles. When connected, these networks serve as a conduit for current that can be regulated to form a transistor.

The networks' structural complexity makes the transistor about 1,000 times more responsive to external stimuli than today's advanced metal devices. The device has a gating gain of 103-fold at room temperature and the current is functionally identical to the Coulomb blockade effect observed at cryogenic temperatures.

Functionality at room temperature opens the door to putting living cells on the chip, and using their biological responses to propel current through the device.

The work is described in "Critical Behavior in Au Nanoparticle Arrays: Implications for All-Metal Field Effect Transistors with Ultra-High Gain at Room Temperature," published in the journal ACS Applied Nano Materials.

From University of Nebraska-Lincoln
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