The actuality of the topics of the book is given by the developments in an emerging field of interdisciplinary applied research called biomolecular electronics. This young and dynamically developing discipline has grown out of the field of conventinal electronics and computer technology. From the early 1960s on, the ability of the latter has been growing exponentially: the logic density of silicon integrated circuits doubled roughly every year ever since the technology was invented ("Moore's law"). Experts, including the establisher of the law, Gordon Moore, Intel's chairman emeritus, agree that Moore's law might hit a wall in the next decades, since semiconductor technology approaches its limits. Huge efforts are being made to go on with miniaturization with new nanotechnological methods; however, a long-term solution seems to require the application of different materials and principles. Biological molecules, proteins and nucleic acids for example, are considered as promising alternatives for applications in electronic or optical devices.
Given their highly organized structures, they can perform special functions, and their self-assemly properties, combined with genetic engineering tools, consummate their advantages in possible applications. The topics of this book are focused on the utilization of biological materials in optical information processing that represents an alternative principle for traditional electronics.show more