Self-assembly of carbon nanotubes into two-dimensional geometries using DNA origami templates


A central challenge in nanotechnology is the parallel fabrication of complex geometries for nanodevices. Here we report a general method for arranging single-walled carbon nanotubes in two dimensions using DNA origami—a technique in which a long single strand of DNA is folded into a predetermined shape. We synthesize rectangular origami templates (75 nm × 95 nm) that display two lines of single-stranded DNA ‘hooks’ in a cross pattern with 6 nm resolution. The perpendicular lines of hooks serve as sequence-specific binding sites for two types of nanotubes, each functionalized non-covalently with a distinct DNA linker molecule. The hook-binding domain of each linker is protected to ensure efficient hybridization. When origami templates and DNA-functionalized nanotubes are mixed, strand displacement-mediated deprotection and binding aligns the nanotubes into cross-junctions. Of several cross-junctions synthesized by this method, one demonstrated stable field-effect transistor-like behaviour. In such organizations of electronic components, DNA origami serves as a programmable nanobreadboard; thus, DNA origami may allow the rapid prototyping of complex nanotube-based structures.

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Figure 1: Overview of cross-junction assembly.
Figure 2: Distributions showing sequence-specific attachment of NL-SWNTs to DNA templates and angular control over orientation.
Figure 3: Electrical characterization of a self-assembled SWNT cross-junction.


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This work was supported by the National Science Foundation (CBET/NIRT 0608889; CCF/NANO/EMT 0622254 and 0829951), the Office of Naval Research (N00014-05-1-0562) and the Center on Functional Engineered Nano Architectures (FENA, Theme 2 and Theme 3). P.W.K.R. thanks Microsoft Corporation for support. S.H. thanks Julie Norville for helpful discussions.

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H.T.M., S.H. and R.D.B. conceived of the project, designed the structures, conducted the experiments and took the measurements with advice and consultation from all authors. All authors contributed to writing the paper. M.B., W.A.G., P.W.K.R. and E.W. provided financial support.

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Correspondence to Si-ping Han.

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Maune, H., Han, S., Barish, R. et al. Self-assembly of carbon nanotubes into two-dimensional geometries using DNA origami templates. Nature Nanotech 5, 61–66 (2010).

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