Biological- and Chemical-Mediated Self-Assembly of Artificial Micro- and Nanostructures
Recent advances in the field of nanotechnology and nanobiotechnology have been fueled by the advancement in fabrication technologies that allow construction of artificial structures that are of the same size or smaller than many biological entities. Figure 17.1 shows the size and scale of many biological and artificial structures. It is interesting to note that the minimum feature in modern day integrated circuits,
which is 0.05
m in 2005, is an order of magnitude smaller than cells and bacteria. The tip of an atomic force microscope, a key tool in advancing the field of nanotechnology, is smaller than most viruses. The gate insulator thickness of a modern day metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) transistor is thinner than one helical turn of a DNA. Thus, it is clear that the top-down fabrication technologies have progressed enough to allow the fabrication of micro-and nanostructures that can be used to interface, interrogate, and integrate biological structures with artificial structures.