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 biomolecules. Moreover, information can pass in both directions across the molecular-electronic interface; the underlying electronic components will interrogate the state of the surface immobilized molecular 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.
Successful applicants will have access to a wide range of state-of-the-art facilities through the York JEOL Nanocentre, the Bioscience Technology Facility, the Department of Electronic Engineering Cleanroom and the newly refurbished Bioinspired Technologies Laboratory. This project requires a highly multi-disciplinary approach to research and would suit enthusiastic candidates with a background in electronic engineering, physics, chemistry, biophysics, biological sciences or a related discipline.