Publication I May 15, 2006

Dissimilar Kinetic Behavior of Electrically Manipulated Single- and Double-Stranded DNA Tethered to a Gold Surface

We report on the electrical manipulation of single- and double-stranded oligodeoxynucleotides that are end tethered to gold surfaces in electrolyte solution. The response to alternating repulsive and attractive electric surface fields is studied by time-resolved fluorescence measurements, revealing markedly distinct dynamics for the flexible single-stranded and stiff double-stranded DNA, respectively. Hydrodynamic simulations rationalize this finding and disclose two different kinetic mechanisms: stiff polymers undergo rotation around the anchoring pivot point; flexible polymers, on the other hand, are pulled onto the attracting surface segment by segment.