DNA mediated assembly of single walled carbon nanotubes: role of DNA linkers and annealing.
With the high demand for nanoelectronic devices, extensive research has focused on the use of single walled carbon nanotubes (CNTs) due to their high electron carrier mobility, large tensile strength, and single nanometer dimensions. Despite their promise, however, their applicability has been greatly hindered by the inherent difficulties of both separating nanotubes of different chiralities and diameters and positioning them from metallic tubes and positioning them in a precise location on a surface. In recent years, single stranded DNA (ssDNA) has been identified as a potential solution for both of these problems since DNA can be used to both separate the different types of CNTs as well as direct their organization. We demonstrate here the first principles on how to guide CNT assembly directly on surfaces from solution by specific DNA hybridization. It was found that the specific DNA sequence used to disperse the carbon nanotubes greatly influences the adsorption and specificity of nanotube binding to the surface. Furthermore, we demonstrate here that thermal annealing can correct misaligned tubes or incorrect binding. These studies provide an excellent foundation for employing two-dimensional DNA templates for CNT organization for nanoelectronic logic and memory based applications. Furthermore, using a single biomaterial to both sort and place CNTs in minimal steps would greatly help the throughput, manufacturability, and cost of such devices.