This research project will focus on the development of conducting molecular architectures using self-assembly processes between specific DNA sequences and metal ions-derivatives. The concept is to use the interaction of specific metal ions towards precise DNA nucleobases. Novel synthetic metal complexes will be prepared carrying specific functional units capable of directing the formation of conducting polymers. These metal complexes will be organized at the nanoscale by interaction with particular DNA base-sequences through self-assembly processes. The project will also involve the preparation of complex DNA-based nanomaterial structures through a novel route which extends upon the well-established DNA origami concept using the unique properties of metal ions and their specificity to form metal-mediated DNA duplexes. The self-assembly properties of DNA and specific metal-ions will be explored for the construction of complex nanoscale architectures. Importantly, the original methodology proposed will be also employed for the incorporation of further functionality into DNA-based nanomaterials, since the properties of the metal-complexes can be tailored with different functional groups.
Established synthetic methodologies will used for the synthesis of the metal-precursor compounds and these will be characterised using standard techniques to set up structural details, e.g. NMR, elemental analysis, ionized electrospray mass spectroscopy LC(IES-MS), spectroscopic (FTIR, UV-vis). The formation of conducting polymer nanomaterial will involve chemical oxidation or metal-coordination of the organized units along the DNA molecules. The resulting materials will be characterised using a range of spectroscopy techniques (FTIR, CD, UV-vis) as well as state-of-the-art scanning probe microscopy (AFM, EFM, STM). Finally, the conducting properties of the materials will be examined using a combination of 2-electrode devices and scanning probe methods.
Field of science
- /natural sciences/chemical sciences/analytical chemistry/spectroscopy
- /natural sciences/chemical sciences/polymer science
- /engineering and technology/nanotechnology/nano-materials
- /natural sciences/biological sciences/genetics and heredity/dna
- /natural sciences/chemical sciences/inorganic chemistry/metals
Call for proposal
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