Self-organizing molecular photonic structures based on functionalized synthetic nucleic acid (DNA) polymers

M. J. Heller, R. H. Tullis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Work has been carried out with the objective of imparting the electronic/photonic property of extended Forster energy transfer into organized structures formed by the programmed self-assembly of synthetic nucleic acid units (fluorescent oligonucleotides and polynucleotides). Forster energy transfer is a non-radiative process by which a fluorescent donor molecule excited at one wavelength is able to transfer its absorbed photonic energy efficiently to a fluorescent acceptor molecule, in close proximity, which then re-emits it at a second wavelength. An extended energy transfer system, with multiple donor molecules, could be considered a molecular photonic antenna or amplifier structure. Relatively efficient extended Forster energy transfer was observed in initial experiments involving multiple fluorescent donor and acceptor oligonucleotides. These results provide a clear demonstration of totally synthetic molecules, with highly specific programmable self-assembling properties, organizing into molecular structures with useful electronic/photonic properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number001
Pages (from-to)165-171
Number of pages7
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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