Single Molecule Charge Transport and Confined Self-Assembly of Electronically Active Biomaterials

Date: 2020/07/20 - 2020/07/20

Academic Seminar: Single Molecule Charge Transport and Confined Self-Assembly of Electronically Active Biomaterials
Speaker: Dr. Bo Li, Kennesaw State University
Time: 9 am, July 20th, 2020 (Monday)

Society is facing a technological revolution in information processing. Conventional computers based on von Neumann architectures are not well-adapted for processing large scale information in parallel, which is essential for artificial intelligence applications. Self-assembled molecular electronics using “bottom-up” paradigm holds enormous promise to catalyze a revolution for next-generation electronics. Bio-inspired functional molecules can play a key role in this effort due to their promising capability of constructing 3D nanostructure through programmable non-covalent bonding. My research goal is to understand and control charge transport in these self-assembled systems at the molecular level by chemical structure design and molecular confinement. In this seminar, I will first introduce my work on controlled supramolecular assembly of pi-conjugated peptides under non-equilibrium conditions. In the second part, I will present my recent study on single molecule charge transport in redox-active biomolecules. Remarkably, extremely high conductance was observed for certain sequence-defined oligopeptides using scanning tunneling microscopy-break junction measurements (STM-BJ). Such high conductance may be attributed to the close distance between redox-active groups confined in unfavorable nonpolar solvent, supported by first principle simulation. Overall, this work provides evidence of long-range charge transport in biomolecules and provides insights into design of self-assembled molecular electronics.

Dr. Bo Li is joining Department of Mechanical Engineering, Kennesaw State University as assistant professor this fall. He is currently the Shen post-doctoral fellow in Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He received his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology in 2015. Bo’s research integrates single molecule charge transport with controlled self-assembly of functional nanomaterials and bio-inspired materials to develop self-assembled molecular electronics.
At Georgia Tech, Bo studied self-assembly and synthesis of functional nanomaterials using organic templates (e.g., DNA, self-assembled block-copolymer micelles, unimolecular star-like block-copolymers) or by conventional wet-chemistry strategies. At UIUC, His focus shifts to understanding the fundamental charge transport mechanisms at single molecule level in electronically active biomolecules using scanning tunneling microscopy. He is particularly interested in realization of artificial neuron network for information processing and sensing using “bottom-up” self-assembly. He has published 1 book and 34 peer-reviewed journal articles in Angew. Chem., ACS Nano, JACS, Nat. Commun. and many others.