Nanofabrication, or the organizational control over matter at the nanometre scale, is an intriguing scientific challenge requiring multidisciplinary tools for its solution. DNA is a biomolecule that can be combined with other nanometre-scale entities through chemical self-assembly to form a broad variety of nanomaterials. In this tutorial review we present the principles that allow DNA to interact with other chemical species, and describe the challenges and potential applications of DNA as a template for making both biological and inorganic features with nanometre resolution. As such, this report should be of interest to chemists, surface and materials scientists, biologists, and nanotechnologists, as well as others who seek to use DNA in nanofabrication.
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