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ACS Nano. 2011 Mar 22;5(3):2240-7. doi: 10.1021/nn1035075. Epub 2011 Feb 16.

Metallization of branched DNA origami for nanoelectronic circuit fabrication.

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Department of Chemical Engineering, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602, USA.


This work examines the metallization of folded DNA, known as DNA origami, as an enabling step toward the use of such DNA as templates for nanoelectronic circuits. DNA origami, a simple and robust method for creating a wide variety of shapes and patterns, makes possible the increased complexity and flexibility needed for both the design and assembly of useful circuit templates. In addition, selective metallization of the DNA template is essential for circuit fabrication. Metallization of DNA origami presents several challenges over and above those associated with the metallization of other DNA templates such as λ-DNA. These challenges include (1) the stability of the origami in the processes used for metallization, (2) the enhanced selectivity required to metallize small origami structures, (3) the increased difficulty of adhering small structures to the surface so that they will not be removed when subject to multiple metallization steps, and (4) the influence of excess staple strands present with the origami. This paper describes our efforts to understand and address these challenges. Specifically, the influence of experimental conditions on template stability and on the selectivity of metal deposition was investigated for small DNA origami templates. These templates were seeded with Ag and then plated with Au via an electroless deposition process. Both staple strand concentration and the concentration of ions in solution were found to have a significant impact. Selective continuous metal deposition was achieved, with an average metallized height as small as 32 nm. The shape of branched origami was also retained after metallization. These results represent important progress toward the realization of DNA-templated nanocircuits.

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