Thymine/adenine diblock-oligonucleotide monolayers and hybrid brushes on gold: A spectroscopic study

Caitlin Howell, Hicham Hamoudi, Michael Zharnikov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The establishment of spectroscopic analysis techniques for complex, surface-bound biological systems is an important step toward the further application of these powerful experimental tools to new questions in biology and medicine. Methods: We use a combination of the complementary spectroscopic techniques of X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, Infrared reflection-absorption spectroscopy, and near-edge x-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy to monitor the composition and molecular orientation in adenine/thymine diblock oligonucleotide films and their hybridized brushes on gold. Results: We demonstrate that the surface-bound probe molecules, consisting of a binding adenine block, d(A), and a sensing thymine block, d(T), deviate from the ideal L-shape model due to the internal intra- and intermolecular hybridization. This effect becomes more pronounced with increasing length of the d(A) block. Nevertheless, these films were found to hybridize well with the complementary target d(A) strands, especially if they were treated in advance to reduce internal interaction between the molecules. In spite of the structural complexity of these films, the hybridization efficiency correlated well with the potential accessibility of the sensing d(T) blocks, defined by their lateral spacing. Conclusions: These findings are a good demonstration of the strength of multi-technique spectroscopic analysis when applied to assemblies of biological molecules intrinsically prone to complex interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes



  • Diblock-oligonucleotide
  • SsDNA film

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Medicine(all)

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