Site-Specific Metallization of Multiple Metals on a Single DNA Origami Template
This work examines the selective deposition of two different metals on the same DNA origami template for nanofabrication. DNA, with adjustable size and shape serves as a suitable template for fabricating metal junctions in the nanometer domain via bottom-up assembly. Bottom-up assembly utilizes the recognition capability of molecules like DNA to self-assemble and form structures. In this regard, DNA origami provides a useful means for forming nanostructures by folding single-stranded DNA into different two and three dimensional shapes. Selective deposition of metal on specific locations of a DNA template is essential for making DNA-templated electronic circuits.Site-specific metallization of DNA origami templates was recently demonstrated, for a single metal at molecularly designated sites. This study addresses the next important step of depositing multiple metals on the same template. Specifically, it is an experimental study to demonstrate the gold-copper metal junction on a DNA origami template, and to understand the challenges associated with junction fabrication. DNA-templated circuit fabrication depends on the ability to deposit multiple components on a DNA template. To achieve this, a section of the DNA template was seeded with Au nanoparticles and electrolessly plated with Au. This Au plated section of the template was then masked with an organic layer to protect it from additional deposition. The remaining section of the same template was subsequently seeded with Pd and plated with copper to form the desired metal junction. This work is the first of its kind to demonstrate metal junctions on a DNA origami template. Metallized origami templates were characterized with the help of SEM imaging and EDX composition data to confirm the presence of the two different metals on the same template. In addition, a chemical “mask” was also used successfully at nanometer resolution to protect previously metallized sites (gold plated) to prevent further metal deposition. The results obtained represent important progress toward the realization of DNA-templated components for nano-circuit fabrication. The work also provides the basis for the next step to make metal-semiconductor junctions on a DNA template.