A major challenge in molecular electronics is to attach electrodes to single molecules in a reproducible manner to make molecular junctions that can be operated as transistors. Several attempts have been made to attach electrodes to proteins, but these devices have been unstable. Here, we show that self-assembly can be used to fabricate, in a highly reproducible manner, molecular junctions in which an antibody molecule (immunoglobulin G) binds to two gold nanoparticles, which in turn are connected to source and drain electrodes. We also demonstrate effective gating of the devices with an applied voltage, and show that the charge transport characteristics of these protein transistors are caused by conformational changes in the antibody. Moreover, by attaching CdSe quantum dots to the antibody, we show that the protein transistor can also be gated by an applied optical field. This approach offers a versatile platform for investigations of single-molecule-based biological functions and might also lead to the large-scale manufacture of integrated bioelectronic circuits.
- NEGATIVE DIFFERENTIAL RESISTANCE; PHOTOSYNTHETIC REACTION CENTERS; ELECTRON-TRANSFER; ORGANIC-MOLECULES; JUNCTIONS; STATE; CONFORMATION; CONDUCTANCE; ORIENTATION; MICROSCOPY