From ORNL: “ORNL microscopy yields first proof of ferroelectricity in simplest amino acid “

Oak Ridge National laboratory

Morgan McCorkle
Thursday, April 19, 2012

“The boundary between electronics and biology is blurring with the first detection by researchers at Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory of ferroelectric properties in an amino acid called glycine.

A multi-institutional research team led by Andrei Kholkin of the University of Aveiro, Portugal, used a combination of experiments and modeling to identify and explain the presence of ferroelectricity, a property where materials switch their polarization when an electric field is applied, in the simplest known amino acid—glycine.

ORNL researchers detected for the first time ferroelectric domains (seen as red stripes) in the simplest known amino acid – glycine.

‘The discovery of ferroelectricity opens new pathways to novel classes of bioelectronic logic and memory devices, where polarization switching is used to record and retrieve information in the form of ferroelectric domains,’ said coauthor and senior scientist at ORNL’s Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS) Sergei Kalinin.”

See the full post here.