Forces external to the double helix are at least as important as its internal structure in determining its geometry. Local interactions among the bases, hydrogen bonding in the primary shell, and collective ('hydrophobic' and 'hydration force') interactions probably dominate local structure, while many-body interactions in the diffuse ion cloud determine the overall conformation. In the condensed state, ion-mediated interactions between neighboring molecules dominate the conformational stability. The wide range of structural variation, and its control by external interactions, can be visualized with a tunneling microscope operated in water.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Materials Chemistry