Tracking Single DNA Nanodevices in Hierarchically Meso-Macroporous Antimony-Doped Tin Oxide Demonstrates Finite Confinement

Daniel Mieritz, Xiang Li, Alex Volosin, Minghui Liu, Hao Yan, Nils G. Walter, Dong Seo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Housing bio-nano guest devices based on DNA nanostructures within porous, conducting, inorganic host materials promise valuable applications in solar energy conversion, chemical catalysis, and analyte sensing. Herein, we report a single-template synthetic development of hierarchically porous, transparent conductive metal oxide coatings whose pores are freely accessible by large biomacromolecules. Their hierarchal pore structure is bimodal with a larger number of closely packed open macropores (∼200 nm) at the higher rank and with the remaining space being filled with a gel network of antimony-doped tin oxide (ATO) nanoparticles that is highly porous with a broad size range of textual pores mainly from 20-100 nm at the lower rank. The employed carbon black template not only creates the large open macropores but also retains the highly structured gel network as holey pore walls. Single molecule fluorescence microscopic studies with fluorophore-labeled DNA nanotweezers reveal a detailed view of multimodal diffusion dynamics of the biomacromolecules inside the hierarchically porous structure. Two diffusion constants were parsed from trajectory analyses that were attributed to free diffusion (diffusion constant D = 2.2 μm2/s) and to diffusion within an average confinement length of 210 nm (D = 0.12 μm2/s), consistent with the average macropore size of the coating. Despite its holey nature, the ATO gel network acts as an efficient barrier to the diffusion of the DNA nanostructures, which is strongly indicative of physical interactions between the molecules and the pore nanostructure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6410-6418
Number of pages9
Issue number25
StatePublished - Jun 27 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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