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Self-Assembled Catalytic DNA Nanostructures for Synthesis of Para-directed Polyaniline

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journal contribution
posted on 19.02.2016, 21:39 by Zhen-Gang Wang, Pengfei Zhan, Baoquan Ding
Templated synthesis has been considered as an efficient approach to produce polyaniline (PANI) nanostructures. The features of DNA molecules enable a DNA template to be an intriguing template for fabrication of emeraldine PANI. In this work, we assembled HRP-mimicking DNAzyme with different artificial DNA nanostructures, aiming to manipulate the molecular structures and morphologies of PANI nanostructures through the controlled DNA self-assembly. UV–vis absorption spectra were used to investigate the molecular structures of PANI and monitor kinetic growth of PANI. It was found that PANI was well-doped at neutral pH and the redox behaviors of the resultant PANI were dependent on the charge density of the template, which was controlled by the template configurations. CD spectra indicated that the PANI threaded tightly around the helical DNA backbone, resulting in the right handedness of PANI. These reveal the formation of the emeraldine form of PANI that was doped by the DNA. The morphologies of the resultant PANI were studied by AFM and SEM. It was concluded from the imaging and spectroscopic kinetic results that PANI grew preferably from the DNAzyme sites and then expanded over the template to form 1D PANI nanostructures. The strategy of the DNAzyme-DNA template assembly brings several advantages in the synthesis of para-coupling PANI, including the region-selective growth of PANI, facilitating the formation of a para-coupling structure and facile regulation. We believe this study contributes significantly to the fabrication of doped PANI nanopatterns with controlled complexity, and the development of DNA nanotechnology.