Self-Assembled DNA-Based Fluorescence Waveguide with Selectable Output

J. K. Hannestad, S. R. Gerrard, T. Brown and B. Albinsson. Small 7 (22), 3178-3185, 2011.


Using the principle of self-assembly, a fluorescence-based photonic network is constructed with one input and two spatially and spectrally distinct outputs. A hexagonal DNA nanoassembly is used as a scaffold to host both the input and output dyes. The use of DNA to host functional groups enables spatial resolution on the level of single base pairs, well below the wavelength of light. Communication between the input and output dyes is achieved through excitation energy transfer. Output selection is achieved by the addition of a mediator dye intercalating between the DNA base pairs transferring the excitation energy from input to output through energy hopping. This creates a tool for selective excitation energy transfer on the nanometer scale with spectral and spatial control. The ability to direct excitation energy in a controlled way on the nanometer scale is important for the incorporation of photochemical processes in nanotechnology.