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PH-Controlled Carbon Nanotube Aggregation/Dispersion Based on Intermolecular I-Motif DNA Formation

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In this work, we report a new strategy to manipulate the aggregation and dispersion of carbon nanotube in solution via formation of intermolecular i-motif (four-stranded C-quadruplex) structures in a pH dependent manner. Firstly, single-stranded (ss) DNAs containing two stretches of cytosine (C)-rich domains are covalently linked to carbon nanotubes. At pH 8.0, DNAs are at random coil state, which enhance the dispersion of multi-wall carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) in water; after changing pH to 5.0, the intermolecular i-motif structures formed by the C-rich ssDNAs on neighboring carbon nanotube could drive the MWNTs aggregate. This process is reversible and the transition process has been verified by circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy, gel electrophoresis and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Considering the mechanical properties of carbon nanotube, this finding will benefit many application research fields, such as artificial muscle, functional nano-devices and so on.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 2010

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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