Bio and Organic Molecular Electronic and Processing Devices: Towards Processing Platforms

Sergey E. Lyshevski

Department of Electrical Engineering, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY 14623-5603, U.S.A.




Molecular (nano) electronics and processing focus on fundamental/applied/experimental research and technological developments in devising and implementation of novel high-performance enhanced-functionality atomic/molecular devices, modules and platforms, as well as high-yield bottom-up fabrication. This presentation centers on: (i) novel solid and fluidic molecular devices (Mdevices) which are based on sound device physics; (ii) utilization of the exhibited unique phenomena, effects and capabilities; (iii) devising of enabling topologies, organizations and architectures. At the device level, the key differences between molecular and microelectronic devices are device physics, phenomena exhibited, effects/capabilities/functionality utilized, topologies/organizations attained and fabrication technologies used.
Theoretically, the fundamentals, operation, functionality and organization/architecture of molecular processing platforms (MPPs) can be devised by using BMPPs through biomimetics and bioprototyping. Due to a great number of unsolved fundamental, applied and technological problems, it is impossible to accomplish a coherent biomimetics / bioprototyping and devise (discover - design - and - implement) man-made bio-identical or bio-centered processing and memory platforms. To some extent, one may resemble or typify bimolecular processing devices (BMdevices) and BMPPs. We consider solid and fluidic MEdevices and BMdevices examining various electrochemomechanical phenomena/effects/transitions which can be utilized. In particular, potential-, charge-, electrochemomechanical-, optical- and other effects Mdevices are studied. For a class of MEdevices the basic, applied and experimental studies are reported including the I-V characteristics, switching, etc. At the system level, considering a neuron as a module which consists of processing-and-memory primitives, we cover basic fundamentals, study biomolecular processing hardware and software, analyze electrochemomechanically-induced transitions, consider information and routing carriers, etc.
Molecular electronics and processing platforms, as a cutting-edge revolutionary endeavor, are researched. These revolutionary high-risk high-payoff areas require immense research and technology development efforts which largely depend on readiness, commitment, acceptance, investment, infrastructure, innovations and market needs. Various existing BMPPs establish evidence ensuring the overall feasibility and soundness of envisioned synthetic and fluidic MPPs. The experimental and analytic results show that protein folding and charge transitions are accomplished within nanoseconds and requires ~1×10-19 to 1×10-18 J of energy. Real-time 3D image processing is ordinarily accomplished even by primitive insects and vertebrates that have less than 1 million neurons. To perform these and other immense processing tasks, less than 1 μW is consumed. However, simple 3D image processing cannot be performed in real time by even envisioned processors with trillions of transistors, device switching speed ~1 THz, circuit speed ~10 GHz, device switching energy ~1×10-16 J, writing energy ~1×10-16 J/bit, read time ~10 nsec, etc. This is an undisputable evidence of superb biomolecular processing that cannot be surpassed by any envisioned microelectronics enhancements and innovations. Biomolecular, fluidic and solid Mdevices and modules exhibit distinct performance and capabilities. As demonstrated in the Figure, advancements are envisioned towards 3D solid molecular electronics, and one can resemble a familiar solid-state microelectronics solution. Solid MEdevices and MICs may utilize the so-called soft materials such as biomolecules though the electron transport, utilized in solid-state devices, is unlikely applicable to BMdevices and BMPPs. A roadmap towards super-high-performance MICs and MPPs is documented in the Figure.[1,2] The proposed MICs and MPPs have an analogy to aggregated brain neurons which perform information processing, memory storage and other related tasks. Using various performance estimates, metrics and indexes, the bio and organic Mdevice and MPPs are assessed and evaluated.