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Primeur weekly 2016-11-14

Exascale supercomputing

Berkeley Lab to lead AMR co-design centre for DOE's Exascale Computing Project ...

Exascale Computing Project announces $48 million to establish Exascale co-design centres ...

US Exascale Computing Project awards $34 million for software development ...

Quantum computing

Breakthrough in the quantum transfer of information between matter and light ...

Focus on Europe

European Commission reveals its forthcoming call for energy efficient, high performance processors ...

World-leading HPC centres partner to form accelerated computing institute ...

Atos Bull to boost Dutch research at SURFsara with first Bull sequana supercomputer installed ...

Middleware

Allinea tools yield a 50% speed up for genome applications at the Earlham Institute ...

NERSC's 'Shifter' scales up to more than 9,000 Cori KNL processors ...

DDN's Big Data storage provides Aalto University ample capacity and fast access to vital research data ...

DDN unveils industry's fastest multi-level security Lustre solution ...

DDN delivers new burst buffer appliance and updates block and file appliances, completing total product line refresh ...

Atos Bull tackles storage bottlenecks for High Performance Computing ...

Cycle Computing debuts the newest version of its groundbreaking CycleCloud ...

Hardware

University of Toronto selects CoolIT Systems to liquid cool signal processor for CHIME project ...

CoolIT Systems optimizes Trade and Match solution with custom closed-loop liquid cooling ...

SDSC to host high-speed, large data transfer experiment at SC16 Show ...

Cray XC40 "Theta" supercomputer accepted at Argonne National Laboratory ...

Cray launches next-generation supercomputer: the Cray XC50 ...

Cray reports third quarter 2016 financial results ...

Mellanox drives Virtual Reality to new levels with breakthrough performance ...

Mellanox announces 200Gb/s HDR InfiniBand solutions enabling record levels of performance and scalability ...

Computers made of genetic material? ...

CoolIT Systems to showcase best-in-class HPC liquid cooling offering at SC16 ...

Applications

BoschDoc, AHCODA-DB and OpenML winners of the Data Prize 2016 ...

Blue Waters simulates largest membrane channel made of DNA origami ...

Cray joins iEnergy, the oil and gas industry's foremost community for exploration and production ...

Large-scale computer simulations reveal biological growth processes ...

NASA science and technology advancements demonstrated at Supercomputing Conference ...

Unlocking big genetic datasets ...

Accelerating cancer research with deep learning ...

System opens up high-performance programming to non-experts ...

Studying structure to understand function within 'material families' ...

Chury is much younger than previously thought ...

TOP500

Global supercomputing capacity creeps up as Petascale systems blanket Top 100 ...

InfiniBand chosen by nearly 4x more end-users versus proprietary offerings in 2016 as shown on the TOP500 supercomputers list ...

The Cloud

SURFnet selects eight Cloud providers for Dutch education and research ...

Computers made of genetic material?

9 Nov 2016 Dresden - Tinier than the AIDS virus - that is currently the circumference of the smallest transistors. The industry has shrunk the central elements of their computer chips to fourteen nanometers in the last sixty years. Conventional methods, however, are hitting physical boundaries. An alternative could be the self-organisation of components from molecules and atoms. Scientists at HZDR and Paderborn University have now made an important advance: the physicists conducted a current through gold-plated nanowires, which independently assembled themselves from single DNA strands.

At first glance, it resembles wormy lines in front of a black background. But what the electron microscope shows up close is that the nanometer-sized structures connect two electrical contacts. Dr. Artur Erbe from the Institute of Ion Beam Physics and Materials Research is pleased about what he sees. "Our measurements have shown that an electrical current is conducted through these tiny wires." This is not necessarily self-evident, the physicist stresses. We are, after all, dealing with components made of modified DNA. In order to produce the nanowires, the researchers combined a long single strand of genetic material with shorter DNA segments through the base pairs to form a stable double strand. Using this method, the structures independently take on the desired form.

"With the help of this approach, which resembles the Japanese paper folding technique origami and is therefore referred to as DNA-origami, we can create tiny patterns", explained the HZDR researcher. "Extremely small circuits made of molecules and atoms are also conceivable here." This strategy, which scientists call the "bottom-up" method, aims to turn conventional production of electronic components on its head. "The industry has thus far been using what is known as the 'top-down' method. Large portions are cut away from the base material until the desired structure is achieved. Soon this will no longer be possible due to continual miniaturization." The new approach is instead oriented on nature: molecules that develop complex structures through self-assembling processes.

The elements that thereby develop would be substantially smaller than today's tiniest computer chip components. Smaller circuits could theoretically be produced with less effort. There is, however, a problem: "Genetic matter doesn't conduct a current particularly well", pointed out Dr. Erbe. He and his colleagues have therefore placed gold-plated nanoparticles on the DNA wires using chemical bonds. Using a "top-down" method - electron beam lithography - they subsequently make contact with the individual wires electronically. "This connection between the substantially larger electrodes and the individual DNA structures have come up against technical difficulties until now. By combining the two methods, we can resolve this issue. We could thus very precisely determine the charge transport through individual wires for the first time", added Dr. Erbe.

As the tests of the Dresden researchers have shown, a current is actually conducted through the gold-plated wires - it is, however, dependent on the ambient temperature. "The charge transport is simultaneously reduced as the temperature decreases", described Dr. Erbe. "At normal room temperature, the wires function well, even if the electrons must partially jump from one gold particle to the next because they haven't completely melded together. The distance, however, is so small that it currently doesn't even show up using the most advanced microscopes." In order to improve the conduction, Artur Erbe's team aims to incorporate conductive polymers between the gold particles. The physicist believes the metallization process could also still be improved.

He is, however, generally pleased with the results: "We could demonstrate that the gold-plated DNA wires conduct energy. We are actually still in the basic research phase, which is why we are using gold rather than a more cost-efficient metal. We have, nevertheless, made an important stride, which could make electronic devices based on DNA possible in the future."

B. Teschome, S. Facsko, T. Schönherr, J. Kerbusch, A. Keller, and A. Erbe are the authors of the paper titled " Temperature-Dependent Charge Transport through Individually Contacted DNA Origami-Based Au Nanowires " published inLangmuir, 2016, 32 (40), pp 10159-10165 - DOI: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.6b01961.
Source: Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf

Back to Table of contents

Primeur weekly 2016-11-14

Exascale supercomputing

Berkeley Lab to lead AMR co-design centre for DOE's Exascale Computing Project ...

Exascale Computing Project announces $48 million to establish Exascale co-design centres ...

US Exascale Computing Project awards $34 million for software development ...

Quantum computing

Breakthrough in the quantum transfer of information between matter and light ...

Focus on Europe

European Commission reveals its forthcoming call for energy efficient, high performance processors ...

World-leading HPC centres partner to form accelerated computing institute ...

Atos Bull to boost Dutch research at SURFsara with first Bull sequana supercomputer installed ...

Middleware

Allinea tools yield a 50% speed up for genome applications at the Earlham Institute ...

NERSC's 'Shifter' scales up to more than 9,000 Cori KNL processors ...

DDN's Big Data storage provides Aalto University ample capacity and fast access to vital research data ...

DDN unveils industry's fastest multi-level security Lustre solution ...

DDN delivers new burst buffer appliance and updates block and file appliances, completing total product line refresh ...

Atos Bull tackles storage bottlenecks for High Performance Computing ...

Cycle Computing debuts the newest version of its groundbreaking CycleCloud ...

Hardware

University of Toronto selects CoolIT Systems to liquid cool signal processor for CHIME project ...

CoolIT Systems optimizes Trade and Match solution with custom closed-loop liquid cooling ...

SDSC to host high-speed, large data transfer experiment at SC16 Show ...

Cray XC40 "Theta" supercomputer accepted at Argonne National Laboratory ...

Cray launches next-generation supercomputer: the Cray XC50 ...

Cray reports third quarter 2016 financial results ...

Mellanox drives Virtual Reality to new levels with breakthrough performance ...

Mellanox announces 200Gb/s HDR InfiniBand solutions enabling record levels of performance and scalability ...

Computers made of genetic material? ...

CoolIT Systems to showcase best-in-class HPC liquid cooling offering at SC16 ...

Applications

BoschDoc, AHCODA-DB and OpenML winners of the Data Prize 2016 ...

Blue Waters simulates largest membrane channel made of DNA origami ...

Cray joins iEnergy, the oil and gas industry's foremost community for exploration and production ...

Large-scale computer simulations reveal biological growth processes ...

NASA science and technology advancements demonstrated at Supercomputing Conference ...

Unlocking big genetic datasets ...

Accelerating cancer research with deep learning ...

System opens up high-performance programming to non-experts ...

Studying structure to understand function within 'material families' ...

Chury is much younger than previously thought ...

TOP500

Global supercomputing capacity creeps up as Petascale systems blanket Top 100 ...

InfiniBand chosen by nearly 4x more end-users versus proprietary offerings in 2016 as shown on the TOP500 supercomputers list ...

The Cloud

SURFnet selects eight Cloud providers for Dutch education and research ...