Topography-controlled alignment of DNA origami nanotubes on nanopatterned surfaces†
The controlled positioning of DNA nanostructures on technologically relevant surfaces represents a major goal along the route toward the full-scale integration of DNA-based materials into nanoelectronic and sensor devices. Previous attempts to arrange DNA nanostructures into defined arrays mostly relied on top-down lithographic patterning techniques combined with chemical surface functionalization. Here we combine two bottom-up techniques for nanostructure fabrication, i.e., self-organized nanopattern formation and DNA origami self-assembly, in order to demonstrate the electrostatic self-alignment of DNA nanotubes on topographically patterned silicon surfaces. Self-organized nanoscale ripple patterns with periodicities ranging from 20 nm to 50 nm are fabricated by low-energy ion irradiation and serve as substrates for DNA origami adsorption. Electrostatic interactions with the charged surface oxide during adsorption direct the DNA origami nanotubes to the ripple valleys and align them parallel to the ripples. By optimizing the pattern dimensions and the Debye length of the adsorption buffer, we obtain an alignment yield of ∼70%. Since this novel and versatile approach does not rely on any chemical functionalization of the surface or the DNA nanotubes, it can be applied to virtually any substrate material and any top-down or bottom-up nanopatterning technique. This technique thus may enable the wafer-scale fabrication of ordered arrays of functional DNA-based nanowires.