Publication Details (including relevant citation information):
Our work on lithographic patterning of DNA nanostructures was inspired by a collaboration on molecular electronic devices known as quantum-dot cellular automata or QCA. QCA is a paradigm for computation in which information is transmitted and processed through the interaction of coupled electrical charges or magnetic dipoles. We began to explore the idea of molecular scale QCA and found that ab initio methods, a thermodynamic Ising model, and larger scale circuit design work suggested that circuits that did computationally interesting things could function at room temperature if made from molecular QCA cells of chemically reasonable design.
But how could the QCA cells be patterned to form the complex arrays needed for computationally interesting circuitry, and how could those arrays of molecular circuitry be integrated with conventional electronic inputs and outputs? Top-down methods lacked the spatial resolution and high level of parallelism needed to make molecular circuits. Bottom-up chemical synthesis lacked the ability to fabricate arbitrary and heterogeneous structures tens to hundreds of nanometers in size. Chemical self-assembly at the time could produce structures in the right size scale, but was limited to homogeneous arrays. A potential solution to this conundrum was just being demonstrated in the late 1990s and early 2000s: DNA nanostructures self-assembled from oligonucleotides, whose high information density could handle the creation of arbitrary structures and chemical inhomogeneity. Our group became interested in whether DNA nanostructures could function as self-assembling circuit boards for electrical or magnetic QCA systems. This Account focuses on what we learned about the interactions of DNA nanostructures with silicon substrates and, particularly, on how electron-beam lithography could be used to direct the binding of DNA nanostructures on a variety of functional substrates.
Address (URL): http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ar500001e