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Hybrid molecular electronic devices: developing a hybrid molecular-electronic technology to immobilise and integrate biomolecular machines

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Thursday, January 31, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The interest in biomolecules as materials for computation stems originally from the massively-parallel information processing that can be achieved using combinatorial molecules. A large number of computational machines that exploit the parallelism inherent to molecular computation have been demonstrated and executed. Despite these advances, no computational machine constructed from biological molecules has been demonstrated that can compete with the computational power, efficiency, flexibility and reliability of conventional silicon-electronics. Critically, most molecular machines operate in the solution-phase, and it is the use of freely diffusing molecules that underpins many of the challenges that currently limit molecular computation. This project will address these challenges by developing a hybrid molecular-electronic technology in which biomolecular machines are immobilised and integrated with underlying electronic circuitry. Immobilisation reduces the high error rates associated with solution phase computation as there will be no unwanted interaction between spatially separated DNA strands. Moreover, information can pass in both directions across the molecular-electronic interface; the underlying electronic components will interrogate the state of the surface immobilized DNA machines, apply logic processing to the data received and then act to regulate the molecular state. This technology not only provides an approach for cascading multiple molecular machines via the underlying electronics but also enables highly-parallel and multiplexed electronic read-out.

Funding Notes

This PhD studentship will cover the tuition fee at the UK/EU rate (£4,345 in 2019/20) and a stipend at the standard research council rate for a period of 3 years (£14,777 in 2018/19).

Candidates must have (or expect to obtain) a minimum of a UK upper second class honours degree (2.1) or equivalent in Engineering or a Physical Science or a related subject. Experience of experimental molecular biology is not essential but candidates should have a strong interest in inter-disciplinary research.

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