2022 journal article
Printable logic circuits comprising self-assembled protein complexes
NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, 13(1).
This paper describes the fabrication of digital logic circuits comprising resistors and diodes made from protein complexes and wired together using printed liquid metal electrodes. These resistors and diodes exhibit temperature-independent charge-transport over a distance of approximately 10 nm and require no encapsulation or special handling. The function of the protein complexes is determined entirely by self-assembly. When induced to self-assembly into anisotropic monolayers, the collective action of the aligned dipole moments increases the electrical conductivity of the ensemble in one direction and decreases it in the other. When induced to self-assemble into isotropic monolayers, the dipole moments are randomized and the electrical conductivity is approximately equal in both directions. We demonstrate the robustness and utility of these all-protein logic circuits by constructing pulse modulators based on AND and OR logic gates that function nearly identically to simulated circuits. These results show that digital circuits with useful functionality can be derived from readily obtainable biomolecules using simple, straightforward fabrication techniques that exploit molecular self-assembly, realizing one of the primary goals of molecular electronics.