04-Dec-2003 - DuPont

DuPont-led Scientists Unveil Key Nanotechnology Discovery with Use of DNA

Sorting Carbon Nanotubes Provides Significant Step in Advancing Nano- Electronics Applications

A collaborative group of DuPont-led scientists have discovered an innovative way to advance electronics applications through the use of DNA that sorts carbon nanotubes.

This research in the emerging field of nanotechnology appears in the current issue of the journal Science, which is published by the AAAS -- the world's largest general scientific organization. The research paper is titled "Structure-Based Carbon Nanotube Sorting by Sequence-Dependent DNA Assembly."

Carbon nanotubes possess excellent electrical properties that make them potential building blocks in a broad range of nanotechnology-related electronic applications, including highly sensitive medical diagnostic devices and mini-transistors more than 100 times tinier than those found in today's microchips. When they are fabricated, however, carbon nanotubes of different electronic types randomly clump together, deterring consistent conductivity. The ability to sort and assemble carbon nanotubes allows for uniform conductivity -- enabling the applications to be realized.

Initially, DuPont Central Research & Development scientists found that single-stranded DNA strongly interacts with carbon nanotubes to form a stable DNA-carbon nanotube hybrid that effectively disperses carbon nanotubes in an aqueous solution.

As a follow-up to that initial work, a multidisciplinary team of scientists from DuPont, the Massachusetts Institute for Technology (MIT) and the University of Illinois worked together to discover a new method for separating carbon nanotubes using single stranded DNA and anion-exchange chromatography. By screening a library of oligonucleotides, the team found that a particular sequence of single stranded DNA self-assembles into a helical structure around individual carbon nanotubes. Since carbon nanotube- DNA hybrids have different electrostatic properties that depend on the nanotubes' diameter and electronic properties, they can be separated and sorted using anion exchange chromatography. The technique can be used to separate metallic carbon nanotubes from semiconducting carbon nanotubes, both which are created during nanotube production. The technique also can sort semiconducting carbon nanotubes by diameters, an important element in nanoelectronic applications. The collaborative work is further detailed in the current edition of Science.

"Wrapping of carbon nanotubes by single-stranded DNA was found to be sequence-dependent," said DuPont Central Research & Development scientist Ming Zheng. "This outstanding collaborative effort is a good example how researchers from both industry and academic institutions can work together in a multidisciplinary approach to further advance this emerging technology."

Facts, background information, dossiers
More about DuPont
  • News

    DuPont Announces Leadership Changes

    DuPont announced that its Board of Directors has appointed current Executive Chairman Edward D. Breen to the additional role of Chief Executive Officer. Lori D. Koch, Vice President of Investor Relations and Corporate Financial Planning and Analysis, is named Chief Financial Officer.  Both ... more

    BASF completes the divestiture of its ultrafiltration membrane business to DuPont

    BASF has closed the previously announced transaction to divest its ultrafiltration membrane business to DuPont Safety & Construction (DuPont). The divestiture includes the shares of inge GmbH, the business’ headquarters and production site in Greifenberg, Germany, including all employees, i ... more

    BASF to sell its ultrafiltration membrane business to DuPont

    BASF and DuPont Safety & Construction (DuPont) announced that the companies have signed an agreement where BASF will sell its ultrafiltration membrane business to DuPont. The divesture includes the shares of inge GmbH, the business’ international sales force, its headquarters and production ... more

  • Companies

    DuPont Teijin Films Luxembourg S.A.

    The DuPont Luxembourg site employs more than 1200 people and features major production units for polyester films, non-woven spunbondeds and elastomers. It is an important European business center of DuPont and DuPont Teijin Films. more

    DuPont de Nemours International S.A.

    Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 70 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture, nutrition ... more

    DuPont

    Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 70 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture, nutrition ... more