Abstract

Magnetic resonance spectroscopy of single biomolecules under near-physiological conditions could substantially advance understanding of their biological function, but this approach remains very challenging. Here we used nitrogen-vacancy centers in diamonds to detect electron spin resonance spectra of individual, tethered DNA duplexes labeled with a nitroxide spin label in aqueous buffer solutions at ambient temperatures. This work paves the way for magnetic resonance studies on single biomolecules and their intermolecular interactions in native-like environments.

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Change history

  • 14 August 2018

    In the version of this paper originally published online, the ORCID ID for Peter Z. Qin was incorrectly assigned to Zhuoyang Qin. In addition, the ORCID for Fazhan Shi was omitted. These errors have been corrected in the print, PDF, and HTML versions of the paper.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported in part by the National Key R&D Program of China (grant 2016YFA0502400 to F.S.; grant 2018YFA0306600 to J.D.), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grants 81788104, 11227901, and 11761131011 to J.D.; grants 31470835, 91636217, and 11722544 to F.S.; grant 21328101 to P.Z.Q.), CAS (grants XDB01030400 and QYZDY-SSW-SLH004 to J.D.; grant YIPA2015370 to F.S.), the CEBioM (F.S.), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (grant WK2340000064 to F.S.; grant WK2030040088 to P.W.), the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (grant BX20180294 to F.K.; grants BX201700230 and 2017M622001 to Q.Z.) and the US National Science Foundation (grants CHE-1213673, MCB-1716744, and MCB-1818107 to P.Z.Q.).

Author information

Author notes

  1. These authors contributed equally to this work: Fazhan Shi, Fei Kong, Pengju Zhao.

Affiliations

  1. CAS Key Laboratory of Microscale Magnetic Resonance and Department of Modern Physics, University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), Hefei, China

    • Fazhan Shi
    • , Fei Kong
    • , Pengju Zhao
    • , Ming Chen
    • , Sanyou Chen
    • , Qi Zhang
    • , Mengqi Wang
    • , Xiangyu Ye
    • , Zhecheng Wang
    • , Zhuoyang Qin
    • , Xing Rong
    • , Jihu Su
    • , Pengfei Wang
    •  & Jiangfeng Du
  2. Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at the Microscale, USTC, Hefei, China

    • Fazhan Shi
    • , Fei Kong
    • , Xiangyu Ye
    • , Xing Rong
    • , Jihu Su
    • , Pengfei Wang
    •  & Jiangfeng Du
  3. Synergetic Innovation Center of Quantum Information and Quantum Physics, USTC, Hefei, China

    • Fazhan Shi
    • , Fei Kong
    • , Pengju Zhao
    • , Ming Chen
    • , Sanyou Chen
    • , Qi Zhang
    • , Mengqi Wang
    • , Xiangyu Ye
    • , Zhecheng Wang
    • , Zhuoyang Qin
    • , Xing Rong
    • , Jihu Su
    • , Pengfei Wang
    •  & Jiangfeng Du
  4. Department of Chemistry, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA

    • Xiaojun Zhang
    •  & Peter Z. Qin

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Contributions

J.D. supervised the entire project. J.D., F.S., and P.Z.Q. designed the experiments. F.K., P.Z., and F.S. performed the experiments. X.Z. and P.Z.Q. prepared the DNA duplex. X.Z., M.C., X.R., J.S., and P.Z.Q. measured the ensemble data. P.Z., M.C., Z.W., S.C., and P.Z.Q. carried out the chemical bonding process. M.W., X.Y., and P.W. fabricated the pillar and conducted atomic force microscopy imaging. Q.Z. tested the coherence of NVs. F.K. and Z.Q. performed calculations. F.S., F.K., P.Z., P.Z.Q., and J.D. wrote the manuscript. All authors discussed the results and commented on the manuscript.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Peter Z. Qin or Jiangfeng Du.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/s41592-018-0084-1