Abstract

Electronic delocalization in redox-active polymers may be disrupted by the heterogeneity of the environment that surrounds each monomer. When the differences in monomer redox-potential induced by the environment are small (as compared with the monomer-monomer electronic interactions), delocalization persists. Here we show that guanine (G) runs in double-stranded DNA support delocalization over 4-5 guanine bases. The weak interaction between delocalized G blocks on opposite DNA strands is known to support partially coherent long-range charge transport. The molecular-resolution model developed here finds that the coherence among these G blocks follows an even-odd orbital-symmetry rule and predicts that weakening the interaction between G blocks exaggerates the resistance oscillations. These findings indicate how sequence can be exploited to change the balance between coherent and incoherent transport. The predictions are tested and confirmed using break-junction experiments. Thus, tailored orbital symmetry and structural fluctuations may be used to produce coherent transport with a length scale of multiple nanometres in soft-matter assemblies, a length scale comparable to that of small proteins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)941-945
Number of pages5
JournalNature Chemistry
Volume8
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Engineering nanometre-scale coherence in soft matter'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Liu, C., Xiang, L., Zhang, Y., Zhang, P., Beratan, D. N., Li, Y., & Tao, N. (2016). Engineering nanometre-scale coherence in soft matter. Nature Chemistry, 8(10), 941-945. https://doi.org/10.1038/nchem.2545