Researchers in Asia say they have created the first three-dimensional flash memory device made with protein.
The team from National Chiao Tung University in Taiwan and the Nippon Institute of Technology in Japan used nanoparticles of a metal-oxide semiconductor as the charge storage node for the flash memory device, binding them together with proteins' biochemical functionality.
"The sophisticated ability of biomolecules to self-organize in the nanometer regime has encouraged us to fabricate hierarchical nanoarchitectures using the automated molecular interactions of functional biomolecules," the researchers note.
The use of proteins to arrange nanoparticles enabled the scientists to create denser memory, along with more complex, multilayer electronics with less effort. The memory devices could handle more than 10,000 write-erase operations, which the researchers say is comparable to today's best consumer-grade memory offers. The protein molecules have the ability to automatically construct the memory substrate.
Biological methods of binding memory nodes together are less expensive than constructing memory using silicon because the protein molecules self-assemble. Researchers say they can construct memory on the molecular level and with greater precision than traditional methods using silicon lithography.
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