The binding of single-stranded DNAs and a neutral DNA analogue (peptide nucleic acid, PNA) to single-walled carbon nanotubes in solution phase has been probed by absorbance spectroscopy and linear dichroism. The nanotubes are solubilised by aqueous sodium dodecyl sulfate, in which the nucleic acids also dissolve. The linear dichroism (LD) of the nanotubes, when subtracted from that due to the nanotubes/nucleic acid samples, gives the LD of the bound nucleic acid. The binding of the single-stranded DNA to the single-walled nanotubes is quite different from that previously observed for double-stranded DNA. It is likely that the nucleic acid bases lie flat on the nanotube surface with the backbone wrapping round the nanotube at an oblique angle in the region of 45°. The net effect is like beads on a string. The base orientation with the single-stranded PNA is inverted with respect to that of the single-stranded DNA, as shown by their oppositely signed LD signals.
- Linear dichroism