Folded DNA templates allow researchers to precisely cut out graphene shapes, which could be used in electronic circuits.
DNA’s unique structure is ideal for carrying genetic information, but scientists have recently found ways to exploit this versatile molecule for other purposes: By controlling DNA sequences, they can manipulate the molecule to form many different nanoscale shapes.
Chemical and molecular engineers at MIT and Harvard University have now expanded this approach by using folded DNA to control the nanostructure of inorganic materials. After building DNA nanostructures of various shapes, they used the molecules as templates to create nanoscale patterns on sheets of graphene. This could be an important step toward large-scale production of electronic chips made of graphene, a one-atom-thick sheet of carbon with unique electronic properties.
Using single-stranded tiles, Yin’s lab has created more than 100 distinct nanoscale shapes, including the full alphabet of capital English letters and many emoticons. These structures are designed using computer software and can be assembled in a simple reaction. Alternatively, such structures can be constructed using an approach called DNA origami, in which many short strands of DNA fold a long strand into a desired shape.
Article Link: http://mit.edu/newsoffice/2013/patterning-graphene-with-dna-0409.html
Related article: http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/2010/jul/21/graphene-could-revolutionize-dna-sequencing
#graphene #dna #science #scienceeveryday #dnasequencing
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