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Magnetic and conductive magnetite nanowires by DNA-templating

Lookup NU author(s): Hasan Mohamed, Dr Scott Watson, Dr Ben Horrocks, Professor Andrew HoultonORCiD


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The synthesis of nanowires made of magnetite (Fe3O4) phase iron oxide was achieved using DNA as a template to direct formation of the metal oxide and confine its growth in two dimensions. This simple solution-based approach involves initial association of Fe2+ and Fe3+ to the DNA "template" molecules, and subsequent co-precipitation of the Fe3O4 material, upon increasing the solution pH, to give the final metal oxide nanowires. Analysis of the DNA-templated material, using a combination of FTIR, XRD, XPS, and Raman spectroscopy, confirmed the iron oxide formed to be the Fe3O4 crystal phase. Investigation of the structural character of the nanowires, carried out by AFM, revealed the metal oxide to form regular coatings of nanometre-scale thickness around the DNA templates. Statistical analysis showed the size distribution of the nanowires to follow a trimodal model, with the modal diameter values identified as 5-6 nm, 14-15 nm, and 23-24 nm. Additional scanning probe microscopy techniques (SCM, MFM) were also used to verify that the nanowire structures are electrically conducting and exhibit magnetic behaviour. Such properties, coupled with the small dimensions of these materials, make them potentially good candidates for application in a host of future nanoscale device technologies.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Mohamed HDA, Watson SMD, Horrocks BR, Houlton A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Nanoscale

Year: 2012

Volume: 4

Issue: 19

Pages: 5936-5945

Print publication date: 02/08/2012

ISSN (print): 2040-3364

ISSN (electronic): 2040-3372

Publisher: RSC Publications


DOI: 10.1039/c2nr31559a


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Funder referenceFunder name
Libyan Government
Newcastle University
One North East
Al-Mergeb University