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Nanotechnology. 2013 Mar 15;24(10):105305. doi: 10.1088/0957-4484/24/10/105305. Epub 2013 Feb 22.

Integration of plant viruses in electron beam lithography nanostructures.

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CIC nanoGUNE Consolider, E-20018, Donostia-San Sebastián, Spain.


Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) is the textbook example of a virus, and also of a self-assembling nanoscale structure. This tubular RNA/protein architecture has also found applications as biotemplate for the synthesis of nanomaterials such as wires, as tubes, or as nanoparticle assemblies. Although TMV is, being a biological structure, quite resilient to environmental conditions (temperature, chemicals), it cannot be processed in electron beam lithography (eBL) fabrication, which is the most important and most versatile method of nanoscale structuring. Here we present adjusted eBL-compatible processes that allow the incorporation of TMV in nanostructures made of positive and negative tone eBL resists. The key steps are covering TMV by polymer resists, which are only heated to 50 °C, and development (selective dissolution) in carefully selected organic solvents. We demonstrate the post-lithography biochemical functionality of TMV by selective immunocoating of the viral particles, and the use of immobilized TMV as direct immunosensor. Our modified eBL process should be applicable to incorporate a wide range of sensitive materials in nanofabrication schemes.

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