Published online before print January 6, 2004
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 10.1073/pnas.0305860101

Applied Biological Sciences
DNA nanotubes self-assembled from triple-crossover tiles as templates for conductive nanowires

Dage Liu, Sung Ha Park John H. Reif, and Thomas H. LaBean

Departments of Computer Science and Physics, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708

Edited by Jacqueline K. Barton, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, and approved November 17, 2003 (received for review September 11, 2003)

DNA-based nanotechnology is currently being developed as a general assembly method for nanopatterned materials that may find use in electronics, sensors, medicine, and many other fields. Here we present results on the construction and characterization of DNA nanotubes, a self-assembling superstructure composed of DNA tiles. Triple-crossover tiles modified with thiol-containing double-stranded DNA stems projected out of the tile plane were used as the basic building blocks. Triple-crossover nanotubes display a constant diameter of approximately 25 nm and have been observed with lengths up to 20 m. We present high-resolution images of the constructs, experimental evidence of their tube-like nature as well as data on metallization of the nanotubes to form nanowires, and electrical conductivity measurements through the nanowires. DNA nanotubes represent a potential breakthrough in the self-assembly of nanometer-scale circuits for electronics layout because they can be targeted to connect at specific locations on larger-scale structures and can subsequently be metallized to form nanometer-scale wires. The dimensions of these nanotubes are also perfectly suited for applications involving interconnection of molecular-scale devices with macroscale components fabricated by conventional photolithographic methods.

Copyright 2004 by the National Academy of Sciences