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Honolulu, HI, United States, 2006/08/31 - Recent developments in DNA-based nanotechnology have shown the suitability of this novel assembly method for constructing useful nanostructures..
DNA molecules can serve as precisely controllable and programmable scaffolds for organizing functional nanomaterials in the design, fabrication, and characterization of nanometer scale electronic devices and sensors. DNA-templated metallic nanowires are such an example and over the past few years DNA scaffolds have been metallized with silver, gold, palladium, platinum and copper. DNA-based fabrication methods could ultimately lead to naturally bio-compatible nanodevices.
Recent research at Duke University optimized the fabrication of DNA-templated silver nanowires while also performing electrical analysis of the resulting wires.
Dr. Sung Ha Park explained the recent work to Nanowerk: "For the past few decades, direct electrical transport measurement in DNA molecules has been considered an interesting research subject. Even though some conductivity experiments with DNA have shown semiconducting or superconducting behavior at extreme conditions, other studies have concluded that DNA molecules are insulators. Rather than relying on electrical transport through DNA itself, we have made use of DNA nanostructures as templates for the specific deposition of functionalized metallic silver nanowires."
Park, now a postdoc at Caltech's DNA and Natural Algorithms Group, is first author of a recent paper titled "Optimized fabrication and electrical analysis of silver nanowires templated on DNA molecules" published in the July 17, 2006 edition of Applied Physics Letters. Park worked on the paper while a grad student at Duke University working with professors Gleb Finkelstein and Thomas LaBean.
In their paper, the researchers describe the fabrication of silver nanowires templated on both synthetic double-stranded DNA and native bacteriophage λ-DNA molecules. After a chemical silver deposition, the metallized DNA wires have a diameter down to 15 nm and are among the thinnest metallic nanowires available to date.
Read the full article on the Nanowerk website.
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By Michael Berger, Copyright 2006 Nanowerk LLC