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Studying flow dynamics of tethered DNA for self-assembled organic molecule electronics

Guihua Yu

Co-Advisor: Professor Zhenan Bao

Harvard University
Ph.D. Chemistry, 2009

University of Science and Technology of China
B.S. Chemistry, 2003

In recent years, there has been considerable interest in DNA based self-assembled single organic molecule electronics. In these studies, one of the most critical steps is to precisely control the tethering and stretching of DNA molecules. Our group has made substantial progress on both theoretical and experimental studies of flow dynamics of tethered DNA molecules using microfluidics and single molecule fluorescence microscopy.

We have demonstrated reproducible surface chemistry for tethering DNA at tunable surface density, and have investigated the effect of shear rates on flow/extension behavior of tethered DNA chains of various lengths. Moreover, we have obtained good agreement between experimental results and Brownian dynamic simulations. The advances we made could provide a better understanding of the dynamics of tethered DNA chains and offer immediate application of controlling the stretching of DNA scaffolds by shear flow. Together with subsequent metallization of the DNA scaffolds, we could eventually realize the reliable and reproducible metal contacts for single molecular electronics.

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