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Scientists use DNA to pave the way for thinner, smaller electronics

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Graphene from Wikimedia Commons
Graphene from Wikimedia Commons

If researchers can make electronic chips out of the one-atom thick material graphene, everyday devices could ultimately become thinner and lighter. A newly developed technique by researchers has overcome a significant obstacle in making this happen and could pave the way for their development. MIT News reports that Harvard and MIT researchers have now developed a way to simplify the placement of circuits onto graphene, which previously required carefully placing the circuits individually. The team's new process uses a pre-made template to more easily and efficiently create the circuitry.

According to MIT News, the templates are created using molds made of DNA. Molecules of DNA are small enough to work with graphene, and they can be formed into different shapes, allowing for the molding of complicated designs such as the letters in the English alphabet. While this is only an early step in developing graphene chips, the team's new method means that circuits can actually be built onto the chips in an efficient way, allowing for researchers to begin designing possible circuits for the material. There are still significant hurdles before fully functioning graphene chips become a reality, but these develops will help researchers learn what — if anything — is actually possible.