Conductive Metallized DNA-Based Constructs for Molecular Electronics

Porath Danny, HUJI, Faculty of Science, The Institute of Chemistry

Self-Assembling, conductive DNA molecules enable easy manufacture of DNA-based circuits and electrical devices



Molecular Electronics, Nanoprocesses, Self-assembly, Nanodevices

Development Stage

Ongoing research


  • Since DNA molecules have the ability to self-assemble into two- and three-dimensional nanoarchitectures, an ability to conduct electricity would make them a tempting target for the production of DNA-based circuits and electrical devices.
  • Conductivity of double stranded DNA is very low, especially when the molecules are deposited on hard surfaces.
  • There is a need for a process to precisely and rapidly assemble extremely tiny, conductive nanowires on a given surface.


Our Innovation

Hybrid nucleic acid-metal complex with the ability to conduct electricity (E-DNA)




(A) Tentative scheme of E-DNA formation, (B) AFM imaging of an intermediate stage of E-DNA formation


Key Features

  • The process is selective to poly(dG)-poly(dC) and is not active on random or poly(dA)-poly(dT) sequences. This paves the way to combining conductive segments with connecting segments to form programmable circuits.
  • The metallization process is simple and low-cost and it is performed at ambient temperatures.
  • Metalized hybrid DNA molecules can conduct electrical current and may be used as nanowires in nanoelectronic devices and DNA-based programmable circuits.
  • Metal atoms positioned along the DNA molecules improve the charge transport properties, producing an attractive candidate for nanoelectronics.

Development Milestones

  • Further optimization of the metallization process and its reproducibility, including avoiding possible defects
  • Development of additional metallization schemes
  • Electrical transport measurements
  • Combination of metalized segments in multiple DNA constructions

The Opportunity

  • Micro- and nanoelectronics underpin a significant part of the global economy. The global turnover of the sector was $310 billion in 2012. The value of products comprising micro- and nanoelectronics components represents around $215 billion of value globally.
  • Transparency Market Research reports a projected growth in the global nanosensors market from US$26.9 million in 2014 to exceeding US$1.5 billion by 2021. While there are several existing and emerging uses of nanosensors, with healthcare and biomedical being the most remunerative, these miniature devices are also seeing an escalating use in military and homeland security applications. However, the mass-production of nanowire sensors is still regarded as being difficult because there is a dearth of equipment that can precisely and rapidly assemble these extremely tiny wires on a given surface.



Patent Status

Published US 2019/0106453 A1

Contact for more information:

Matt Zarek
Contact ME: