Thursday, May 17, 2012
Physics Research Conference
Beyond Watson and Crick: Recent advances in the use of DNA as a building material
Paul Rothemund, Senior Research Associate, Caltech
DNA nanotechnology allows the programmed self-assembly of diverse forms, from 10-micron crystalline nanotubes, ribbons, and lattices, to 100-nanometer arbitrary shapes and patterns known as DNA origami. Such structures, which exhibit features in the 5-10 nanometer range, are of great interest as templates for the organization of nanoelectronic or nanophotonic components, such as carbon nanotubes and metal nanoparticles. To fulfill this potential, a number of challenges must be overcome. For example, DNA nanostructures are typically made in solution and, when deposited on surfaces, they fall at random locations with random orientations. We present a directed self-assembly solution to this specific challenge, as well as outline broader challenges to the approach of using DNA in nanofabrication.