Electronics based on biomolecules

DIPC Seminars

Linda Zotti, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
Donostia International Physics Center
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Electronics based on biomolecules The field of BioMolecular Electronics aims at using biomolecules as building blocks for novel nanoscale devices. A huge variety of systems is available for study in this context, ranging from nanometer-scale individual peptides to millimeter-scale bacterial nanowires. In particular, proteins have been the focus of numerous recent studies and considerable effort has been devoted to analyzing their performance as conductors when incorporated in solid-state junctions. Indeed, it has been shown by several studies that electron transport through proteins is surprisingly effective. In this talk, I will discuss the work I have carried out in this topic, focusing on the blue-copper azurin extracted from Pseudomonas aeruginosa, for which insertion of mutations was found to affect the gate-dependence behaviour considerably. I will present our efforts towards understanding the origin of this effect from a theoretical perspective, from both the point of view of the electronic structure [1] and the geometrical arrangement [2]. Furthermore, I will discuss recent theoretical results from my work obtained on the conductance of individual heptapeptides, and I will compare their performance to that of other molecules of similar length [3]. [1] C. Romero-Muñiz, M. Ortega, J. G. Vilhena, I. Díez Pérez, J. C. Cuevas,a; R. Pérez and L. A. Zotti, “Ab-initio Electronic Structure Calculations of Entire Blue Copper Azurins”, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 20, 30392 (2018). [2] M. P. Ruiz; A. C. Aragonès; N. Camarero; J. G. Vilhena; M. Ortega; L. A. Zotti; R. Pérez; J. C. Cuevas; P. Gorostiza; I. Díez-Pérez, “Bioengineering a Single-Protein Junction”, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 139- 43, 15337 (2017). [3] L. A. Zotti; J. C. Cuevas, “Electron transport through homopeptides: are they really good conductors?”, ACS omega. 3, 3778 (2018).