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Sample records for single-molecule interfacial electron

  1. Single-molecule interfacial electron transfer dynamics manipulated by an external electric current.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Guofeng; Xiao, Liantuan; Chen, Ruiyun; Gao, Yan; Wang, Xiaobo; Jia, Suotang

    2011-08-14

    Interfacial electron transfer (IET) dynamics in a 1,1'-dioctadecyl-3,3,3',3'-tetramethylindodicarbocyanine (DiD) dye molecule/indium tin oxide (ITO) film system have been probed at the ensemble and single-molecule levels. By comparing the difference in the external electric current (EEC) dependence of the fluorescence intensities and lifetimes of the ensembles and single molecules, it is shown that the single-molecule probe can effectively demonstrate IET dynamics. The backward electron transfer and electron transfer from the ground state induce single-molecule fluorescence quenching when an EEC is applied to the DiD/ITO film system.

  2. Interfacial electrochemical electron transfer in biology - towards the level of the single molecule.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jingdong; Chi, Qijin; Hansen, Allan G; Jensen, Palle S; Salvatore, Princia; Ulstrup, Jens

    2012-03-01

    Physical electrochemistry has undergone a remarkable evolution over the last few decades, integrating advanced techniques and theory from solid state and surface physics. Single-crystal electrode surfaces have been a core notion, opening for scanning tunnelling microscopy directly in aqueous electrolyte (in situ STM). Interfacial electrochemistry of metalloproteins is presently going through a similar transition. Electrochemical surfaces with thiol-based promoter molecular monolayers (SAMs) as biomolecular electrochemical environments and the biomolecules themselves have been mapped with unprecedented resolution, opening a new area of single-molecule bioelectrochemistry. We consider first in situ STM of small redox molecules, followed by in situ STM of thiol-based SAMs as molecular views of bioelectrochemical environments. We then address electron transfer metalloproteins, and multi-centre metalloenzymes including applied single-biomolecular perspectives based on metalloprotein/metallic nanoparticle hybrids.

  3. Single Molecule Electronics and Devices

    PubMed Central

    Tsutsui, Makusu; Taniguchi, Masateru

    2012-01-01

    The manufacture of integrated circuits with single-molecule building blocks is a goal of molecular electronics. While research in the past has been limited to bulk experiments on self-assembled monolayers, advances in technology have now enabled us to fabricate single-molecule junctions. This has led to significant progress in understanding electron transport in molecular systems at the single-molecule level and the concomitant emergence of new device concepts. Here, we review recent developments in this field. We summarize the methods currently used to form metal-molecule-metal structures and some single-molecule techniques essential for characterizing molecular junctions such as inelastic electron tunnelling spectroscopy. We then highlight several important achievements, including demonstration of single-molecule diodes, transistors, and switches that make use of electrical, photo, and mechanical stimulation to control the electron transport. We also discuss intriguing issues to be addressed further in the future such as heat and thermoelectric transport in an individual molecule. PMID:22969345

  4. Chemical principles of single-molecule electronics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Su, Timothy A.; Neupane, Madhav; Steigerwald, Michael L.; Venkataraman, Latha; Nuckolls, Colin

    2016-03-01

    The field of single-molecule electronics harnesses expertise from engineering, physics and chemistry to realize circuit elements at the limit of miniaturization; it is a subfield of nanoelectronics in which the electronic components are single molecules. In this Review, we survey the field from a chemical perspective and discuss the structure-property relationships of the three components that form a single-molecule junction: the anchor, the electrode and the molecular bridge. The spatial orientation and electronic coupling between each component profoundly affect the conductance properties and functions of the single-molecule device. We describe the design principles of the anchor group, the influence of the electronic configuration of the electrode and the effect of manipulating the structure of the molecular backbone and of its substituent groups. We discuss single-molecule conductance switches as well as the phenomenon of quantum interference and then trace their fundamental roots back to chemical principles.

  5. Single Molecule Spectroscopy of Electron Transfer

    SciTech Connect

    Michael Holman; Ling Zang; Ruchuan Liu; David M. Adams

    2009-10-20

    The objectives of this research are threefold: (1) to develop methods for the study electron transfer processes at the single molecule level, (2) to develop a series of modifiable and structurally well defined molecular and nanoparticle systems suitable for detailed single molecule/particle and bulk spectroscopic investigation, (3) to relate experiment to theory in order to elucidate the dependence of electron transfer processes on molecular and electronic structure, coupling and reorganization energies. We have begun the systematic development of single molecule spectroscopy (SMS) of electron transfer and summaries of recent studies are shown. There is a tremendous need for experiments designed to probe the discrete electronic and molecular dynamic fluctuations of single molecules near electrodes and at nanoparticle surfaces. Single molecule spectroscopy (SMS) has emerged as a powerful method to measure properties of individual molecules which would normally be obscured in ensemble-averaged measurement. Fluctuations in the fluorescence time trajectories contain detailed molecular level statistical and dynamical information of the system. The full distribution of a molecular property is revealed in the stochastic fluctuations, giving information about the range of possible behaviors that lead to the ensemble average. In the case of electron transfer, this level of understanding is particularly important to the field of molecular and nanoscale electronics: from a device-design standpoint, understanding and controlling this picture of the overall range of possible behaviors will likely prove to be as important as designing ia the ideal behavior of any given molecule.

  6. Single-molecule junctions beyond electronic transport.

    PubMed

    Aradhya, Sriharsha V; Venkataraman, Latha

    2013-06-01

    The idea of using individual molecules as active electronic components provided the impetus to develop a variety of experimental platforms to probe their electronic transport properties. Among these, single-molecule junctions in a metal-molecule-metal motif have contributed significantly to our fundamental understanding of the principles required to realize molecular-scale electronic components from resistive wires to reversible switches. The success of these techniques and the growing interest of other disciplines in single-molecule-level characterization are prompting new approaches to investigate metal-molecule-metal junctions with multiple probes. Going beyond electronic transport characterization, these new studies are highlighting both the fundamental and applied aspects of mechanical, optical and thermoelectric properties at the atomic and molecular scales. Furthermore, experimental demonstrations of quantum interference and manipulation of electronic and nuclear spins in single-molecule circuits are heralding new device concepts with no classical analogues. In this Review, we present the emerging methods being used to interrogate multiple properties in single molecule-based devices, detail how these measurements have advanced our understanding of the structure-function relationships in molecular junctions, and discuss the potential for future research and applications.

  7. Medium Effects in Single Molecule Electronics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Higgins, Simon

    2010-03-01

    We use STM-based techniques for measuring the electrical properties of metal|molecule|metal junctions. For a family of molecules HS(CH2)6-Ar-(CH2)6SH (Ar = substituted benzene), we found that the single molecule conductances varied significantly with substituent, being higher for electron-donating substituents [1]. Later, we studied the effect of increasing conjugation on this system by examining oligothiophenes HS(CH2)6-[C4H4S]x-(CH2)6SH (x = 1, 2, 3, 5). We found that the conductances of junctions involving these molecules depended upon the medium in which the measurements were made. In fact, for x = 3, the conductance was two orders of magnitude higher in the presence of water than in anhydrous conditions [2]. This presentation will outline these studies, together with the results of transport calculations that rationalise these unusual findings, and will set the results in the context of existing literature on medium effects in single molecule conductance determinations. In collaboration with Edmund Leary and Richard Nichols, University of Liverpool; Colin Lambert, Iain Grace, and Chris Finch, University of Lancaster; and Wolfgang Haiss, University of Liverpool.

  8. Single-molecule electronics: from chemical design to functional devices.

    PubMed

    Sun, Lanlan; Diaz-Fernandez, Yuri A; Gschneidtner, Tina A; Westerlund, Fredrik; Lara-Avila, Samuel; Moth-Poulsen, Kasper

    2014-11-01

    The use of single molecules in electronics represents the next limit of miniaturisation of electronic devices, which would enable us to continue the trend of aggressive downscaling of silicon-based electronic devices. More significantly, the fabrication, understanding and control of fully functional circuits at the single-molecule level could also open up the possibility of using molecules as devices with novel, not-foreseen functionalities beyond complementary metal-oxide semiconductor technology (CMOS). This review aims at highlighting the chemical design and synthesis of single molecule devices as well as their electrical and structural characterization, including a historical overview and the developments during the last 5 years. We discuss experimental techniques for fabrication of single-molecule junctions, the potential application of single-molecule junctions as molecular switches, and general physical phenomena in single-molecule electronic devices.

  9. Single molecules as whispering galleries for electrons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reecht, G.; Bulou, H.; Schull, G.; Scheurer, F.

    2016-04-01

    Whispering gallery modes, well-known for acoustic and optical waves, have been shown recently for electrons in molecules on surfaces. The existence of such waves opens new possibilities for nanoelectronic devices. Here we propose a simple analytical textbook model which allows the main characteristic features of such electronic waves to be understood. The model is illustrated by two- and three-dimensional experimental situations.

  10. Electron Transport in Short Peptide Single Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cui, Jing; Brisendine, Joseph; Ng, Fay; Nuckolls, Colin; Koder, Ronald; Venkarataman, Latha

    We present a study of the electron transport through a series of short peptides using scanning tunneling microscope-based break junction method. Our work is motivated by the need to gain a better understanding of how various levels of protein structure contribute to the remarkable capacity of proteins to transport charge in biophysical processes such as respiration and photosynthesis. We focus here on short mono, di and tri-peptides, and probe their conductance when bound to gold electrodes in a native buffer environment. We first show that these peptides can bind to gold through amine, carboxyl, thiol and methyl-sulfide termini. We then focus on two systems (glycine and alanine) and show that their conductance decays faster than alkanes terminated by the same linkers. Importantly, our results show that the peptide bond is less conductive than a sigma carbon-carbon bond. This work was supported in part by NSF-DMR 1507440.

  11. Electron Transfer-Based Single Molecule Fluorescence as a Probe for Nano-Environment Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Ruiyun; Wu, Ruixiang; Zhang, Guofeng; Gao, Yan; Xiao, Liantuan; Jia, Suotang

    2014-01-01

    Electron transfer (ET) is one of the most important elementary processes that takes place in fundamental aspects of biology, chemistry, and physics. In this review, we discuss recent research on single molecule probes based on ET. We review some applications, including the dynamics of glass-forming systems, surface binding events, interfacial ET on semiconductors, and the external field-induced dynamics of polymers. All these examples show that the ET-induced changes of fluorescence trajectory and lifetime of single molecules can be used to sensitively probe the surrounding nano-environments. PMID:24496314

  12. Single-Molecule Electronic Measurements with Metal Electrodes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lindsay, Stuart

    2005-01-01

    A review of concepts like tunneling through a metal-molecule-metal-junction, contrast with electrochemical and optical-charge injection, strong-coupling limit, calculations of tunnel transport, electron transfer through Redox-active molecules is presented. This is followed by a discussion of experimental approaches for single-molecule measurements.

  13. Electronic transport in benzodifuran single-molecule transistors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiang, An; Li, Hui; Chen, Songjie; Liu, Shi-Xia; Decurtins, Silvio; Bai, Meilin; Hou, Shimin; Liao, Jianhui

    2015-04-01

    Benzodifuran (BDF) single-molecule transistors have been fabricated in electromigration break junctions for electronic measurements. The inelastic electron tunneling spectrum validates that the BDF molecule is the pathway of charge transport. The gating effect is analyzed in the framework of a single-level tunneling model combined with transition voltage spectroscopy (TVS). The analysis reveals that the highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) of the thiol-terminated BDF molecule dominates the charge transport through Au-BDF-Au junctions. Moreover, the energy shift of the HOMO caused by the gate voltage is the main reason for conductance modulation. In contrast, the electronic coupling between the BDF molecule and the gold electrodes, which significantly affects the low-bias junction conductance, is only influenced slightly by the applied gate voltage. These findings will help in the design of future molecular electronic devices.Benzodifuran (BDF) single-molecule transistors have been fabricated in electromigration break junctions for electronic measurements. The inelastic electron tunneling spectrum validates that the BDF molecule is the pathway of charge transport. The gating effect is analyzed in the framework of a single-level tunneling model combined with transition voltage spectroscopy (TVS). The analysis reveals that the highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) of the thiol-terminated BDF molecule dominates the charge transport through Au-BDF-Au junctions. Moreover, the energy shift of the HOMO caused by the gate voltage is the main reason for conductance modulation. In contrast, the electronic coupling between the BDF molecule and the gold electrodes, which significantly affects the low-bias junction conductance, is only influenced slightly by the applied gate voltage. These findings will help in the design of future molecular electronic devices. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available: The fabrication procedure for BDF single-molecule

  14. Single-Molecule Electronic Monitoring of DNA Polymerase Activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marushchak, Denys O.; Pugliese, Kaitlin M.; Turvey, Mackenzie W.; Choi, Yongki; Gul, O. Tolga; Olsen, Tivoli J.; Rajapakse, Arith J.; Weiss, Gregory A.; Collins, Philip G.

    Single-molecule techniques can reveal new spatial and kinetic details of the conformational changes occurring during enzymatic catalysis. Here, we investigate the activity of DNA polymerases using an electronic single-molecule technique based on carbon nanotube transistors. Single molecules of the Klenow fragment (KF) of polymerase I were conjugated to the transistors and then monitored via fluctuations in electrical conductance. Continuous, long-term monitoring recorded single KF molecules incorporating up to 10,000 new bases into single-stranded DNA templates. The duration of individual incorporation events was invariant across all analog and native nucleotides, indicating that the precise structure of different base pairs has no impact on the timing of incorporation. Despite similar timings, however, the signal magnitudes generated by certain analogs reveal alternate conformational states that do not occur with native nucleotides. The differences induced by these analogs suggest that the electronic technique is sensing KF's O-helix as it tests the stability of nascent base pairs.

  15. Tracking electrons in biological macromolecules: from ensemble to single molecule.

    PubMed

    Tabares, Leandro C; Gupta, Ankur; Aartsma, Thijs J; Canters, Gerard W

    2014-08-06

    Nature utilizes oxido-reductases to cater to the energy demands of most biochemical processes in respiratory species. Oxido-reductases are capable of meeting this challenge by utilizing redox active sites, often containing transition metal ions, which facilitate movement and relocation of electrons/protons to create a potential gradient that is used to energize redox reactions. There has been a consistent struggle by researchers to estimate the electron transfer rate constants in physiologically relevant processes. This review provides a brief background on the measurements of electron transfer rates in biological molecules, in particular Cu-containing enzymes, and highlights the recent advances in monitoring these electron transfer events at the single molecule level or better to say, at the individual event level.

  16. Electronic Single Molecule Measurements with the Scanning Tunneling Microscope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Im, Jong One

    Richard Feynman said "There's plenty of room at the bottom". This inspired the techniques to improve the single molecule measurements. Since the first single molecule study was in 1961, it has been developed in various field and evolved into powerful tools to understand chemical and biological property of molecules. This thesis demonstrates electronic single molecule measurement with Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM) and two of applications of STM; Break Junction (BJ) and Recognition Tunneling (RT). First, the two series of carotenoid molecules with four different substituents were investigated to show how substituents relate to the conductance and molecular structure. The measured conductance by STM-BJ shows that Nitrogen induces molecular twist of phenyl distal substituents and conductivity increasing rather than Carbon. Also, the conductivity is adjustable by replacing the sort of residues at phenyl substituents. Next, amino acids and peptides were identified through STM-RT. The distribution of the intuitive features (such as amplitude or width) are mostly overlapped and gives only a little bit higher separation probability than random separation. By generating some features in frequency and cepstrum domain, the classification accuracy was dramatically increased. Because of large data size and many features, supporting vector machine (machine learning algorithm for big data) was used to identify the analyte from a data pool of all analytes RT data. The STM-RT opens a possibility of molecular sequencing in single molecule level. Similarly, carbohydrates were studied by STM-RT. Carbohydrates are difficult to read the sequence, due to their huge number of possible isomeric configurations. This study shows that STM-RT can identify not only isomers of mono-saccharides and disaccharides, but also various mono-saccharides from a data pool of eleven analytes. In addition, the binding affinity between recognition molecule and analyte was investigated by comparing with

  17. Probing Electronic and Thermoelectric Properties of Single Molecule Junctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Widawsky, Jonathan R.

    In an effort to further understand electronic and thermoelectric phenomenon at the nanometer scale, we have studied the transport properties of single molecule junctions. To carry out these transport measurements, we use the scanning tunneling microscope-break junction (STM-BJ) technique, which involves the repeated formation and breakage of a metal point contact in an environment of the target molecule. Using this technique, we are able to create gaps that can trap the molecules, allowing us to sequentially and reproducibly create a large number of junctions. By applying a small bias across the junction, we can measure its conductance and learn about the transport mechanisms at the nanoscale. The experimental work presented here directly probes the transmission properties of single molecules through the systematic measurement of junction conductance (at low and high bias) and thermopower. We present measurements on a variety of molecular families and study how conductance depends on the character of the linkage (metal-molecule bond) and the nature of the molecular backbone. We start by describing a novel way to construct single molecule junctions by covalently connecting the molecular backbone to the electrodes. This eliminates the use of linking substituents, and as a result, the junction conductance increases substantially. Then, we compare transport across silicon chains (silanes) and saturated carbon chains (alkanes) while keeping the linkers the same and find a stark difference in their electronic transport properties. We extend our studies of molecular junctions by looking at two additional aspects of quantum transport -- molecular thermopower and molecular current-voltage characteristics. Each of these additional parameters gives us further insight into transport properties at the nanoscale. Evaluating the junction thermopower allows us to determine the nature of charge carriers in the system and we demonstrate this by contrasting the measurement of amine

  18. Vibrationally dependent electron-electron interactions in resonant electron transport through single-molecule junctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Erpenbeck, A.; Härtle, R.; Bockstedte, M.; Thoss, M.

    2016-03-01

    We investigate the role of electronic-vibrational coupling in resonant electron transport through single-molecule junctions, taking into account that the corresponding coupling strengths may depend on the charge and excitation state of the molecular bridge. Within an effective-model Hamiltonian approach for a molecule with multiple electronic states, this requires to extend the commonly used model and include vibrationally dependent electron-electron interaction. We use Born-Markov master equation methods and consider selected models to exemplify the effect of the additional interaction on the transport characteristics of a single-molecule junction. In particular, we show that it has a significant influence on local cooling and heating mechanisms, it may result in negative differential resistance, and it may cause pronounced asymmetries in the conductance map of a single-molecule junction.

  19. Single Molecule Spectroelectrochemistry of Interfacial Charge Transfer Dynamics In Hybrid Organic Solar Cell

    SciTech Connect

    Pan, Shanlin

    2014-11-16

    Our research under support of this DOE grant is focused on applied and fundamental aspects of model organic solar cell systems. Major accomplishments are: 1) we developed a spectroelectorchemistry technique of single molecule single nanoparticle method to study charge transfer between conjugated polymers and semiconductor at the single molecule level. The fluorescence of individual fluorescent polymers at semiconductor surfaces was shown to exhibit blinking behavior compared to molecules on glass substrates. Single molecule fluorescence excitation anisotropy measurements showed the conformation of the polymer molecules did not differ appreciably between glass and semiconductor substrates. The similarities in molecular conformation suggest that the observed differences in blinking activity are due to charge transfer between fluorescent polymer and semiconductor, which provides additional pathways between states of high and low fluorescence quantum efficiency. Similar spectroelectrochemistry work has been done for small organic dyes for understand their charge transfer dynamics on various substrates and electrochemical environments; 2) We developed a method of transferring semiconductor nanoparticles (NPs) and graphene oxide (GO) nanosheets into organic solvent for a potential electron acceptor in bulk heterojunction organic solar cells which employed polymer semiconductor as the electron donor. Electron transfer from the polymer semiconductor to semiconductor and GO in solutions and thin films was established through fluorescence spectroscopy and electroluminescence measurements. Solar cells containing these materials were constructed and evaluated using transient absorption spectroscopy and dynamic fluorescence techniques to understand the charge carrier generation and recombination events; 3) We invented a spectroelectorchemistry technique using light scattering and electroluminescence for rapid size determination and studying electrochemistry of single NPs in an

  20. Electron transfer behaviour of biological macromolecules towards the single-molecule level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Jingdong; Grubb, Mikala; Hansen, Allan G.; Kuznetsov, Alexander M.; Boisen, Anja; Wackerbarth, Hainer; Ulstrup, Jens

    2003-05-01

    Redox metalloproteins immobilized on metallic surfaces in contact with aqueous biological media are important in many areas of pure and applied sciences. Redox metalloprotein films are currently being addressed by new approaches where biotechnology including modified and synthetic proteins is combined with state-of-the-art physical electrochemistry with emphasis on single-crystal, atomically planar electrode surfaces, in situ scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM) and other surface techniques. These approaches have brought bioelectrochemistry important steps forward towards the nanoscale and single-molecule levels. We discuss here these advances with reference to two specific redox metalloproteins, the blue single-copper protein Pseudomonas aeruginosa azurin and the single-haem protein Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast cytochrome c, and a short oligonucleotide. Both proteins can be immobilized on Au(111) by chemisorption via exposed sulfur-containing residues. Voltammetric, interfacial capacitance, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and microcantilever sensor data, together with in situ STM with single-molecule resolution, all point to a coherent view of monolayer organization with protein electron transfer (ET) function retained. In situ STM can also address the microscopic mechanisms for electron tunnelling through the biomolecules and offers novel notions such as coherent multi-ET between the substrate and tip via the molecular redox levels. This differs in important respects from electrochemical ET at a single metal/electrolyte interface. Similar data for a short oligonucleotide immobilized on Au(111) show that oligonucleotides can be characterized with comparable detail, with novel perspectives for addressing DNA electronic conduction mechanisms and for biological screening towards the single-molecule level.

  1. Basic concepts of quantum interference and electron transport in single-molecule electronics.

    PubMed

    Lambert, C J

    2015-02-21

    This tutorial outlines the basic theoretical concepts and tools which underpin the fundamentals of phase-coherent electron transport through single molecules. The key quantity of interest is the transmission coefficient T(E), which yields the electrical conductance, current-voltage relations, the thermopower S and the thermoelectric figure of merit ZT of single-molecule devices. Since T(E) is strongly affected by quantum interference (QI), three manifestations of QI in single-molecules are discussed, namely Mach-Zehnder interferometry, Breit-Wigner resonances and Fano resonances. A simple MATLAB code is provided, which allows the novice reader to explore QI in multi-branched structures described by a tight-binding (Hückel) Hamiltonian. More generally, the strengths and limitations of materials-specific transport modelling based on density functional theory are discussed.

  2. Electric Field Induced Fluorescence Modulation of Single Molecules in PMMA Based on Electron Transfer

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Ruiyun; Gao, Yan; Zhang, Guofeng; Wu, Ruixiang; Xiao, Liantuan; Jia, Suotang

    2012-01-01

    We present a method to modulate the fluorescence of non-polar single squaraine-derived rotaxanes molecules embedded in a polar poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) matrix under an external electric field. The electron transfer between single molecules and the electron acceptors in a PMMA matrix contributes to the diverse responses of fluorescence intensities to the electric field. The observed instantaneous and non-instantaneous electric field dependence of single-molecule fluorescence reflects the redistribution of electron acceptors in PMMA induced by electronic polarization and orientation polarization of polar polymer chains in an electric field. PMID:23109842

  3. Single-molecule spectroscopy for plastic electronics: materials analysis from the bottom-up.

    PubMed

    Lupton, John M

    2010-04-18

    pi-conjugated polymers find a range of applications in electronic devices. These materials are generally highly disordered in terms of chain length and chain conformation, besides being influenced by a variety of chemical and physical defects. Although this characteristic can be of benefit in certain device applications, disorder severely complicates materials analysis. Accurate analytical techniques are, however, crucial to optimising synthetic procedures and assessing overall material purity. Fortunately, single-molecule spectroscopic techniques have emerged as an unlikely but uniquely powerful approach to unraveling intrinsic material properties from the bottom up. Building on the success of such techniques in the life sciences, single-molecule spectroscopy is finding increasing applicability in materials science, effectively enabling the dissection of the bulk down to the level of the individual molecular constituent. This article reviews recent progress in single molecule spectroscopy of conjugated polymers as used in organic electronics.

  4. Single-molecule electronics: Cooling individual vibrational modes by the tunneling current.

    PubMed

    Lykkebo, Jacob; Romano, Giuseppe; Gagliardi, Alessio; Pecchia, Alessandro; Solomon, Gemma C

    2016-03-21

    Electronic devices composed of single molecules constitute the ultimate limit in the continued downscaling of electronic components. A key challenge for single-molecule electronics is to control the temperature of these junctions. Controlling heating and cooling effects in individual vibrational modes can, in principle, be utilized to increase stability of single-molecule junctions under bias, to pump energy into particular vibrational modes to perform current-induced reactions, or to increase the resolution in inelastic electron tunneling spectroscopy by controlling the life-times of phonons in a molecule by suppressing absorption and external dissipation processes. Under bias the current and the molecule exchange energy, which typically results in heating of the molecule. However, the opposite process is also possible, where energy is extracted from the molecule by the tunneling current. Designing a molecular "heat sink" where a particular vibrational mode funnels heat out of the molecule and into the leads would be very desirable. It is even possible to imagine how the vibrational energy of the other vibrational modes could be funneled into the "cooling mode," given the right molecular design. Previous efforts to understand heating and cooling mechanisms in single molecule junctions have primarily been concerned with small models, where it is unclear which molecular systems they correspond to. In this paper, our focus is on suppressing heating and obtaining current-induced cooling in certain vibrational modes. Strategies for cooling vibrational modes in single-molecule junctions are presented, together with atomistic calculations based on those strategies. Cooling and reduced heating are observed for two different cooling schemes in calculations of atomistic single-molecule junctions. PMID:27004879

  5. Electron Transport, Energy Transfer, and Optical Response in Single Molecule Junctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, Alexander

    2015-03-01

    The field of molecular electronics has grown significantly since the first measurements of single molecule conductance. The single molecule junction, a device in which two conducting leads are spanned by a single molecule, has become a powerful tool for studying charge transfer at the molecular level. While early experiments were focused on elastic electron conductance, today measurements of vibronic effects, molecular optical response, spintronics, thermal conductance, and quantum interference and decoherence effects are prominent areas of research. These new experimental advancements demand improved theoretical treatments which properly account for the interactions between different degrees of freedom: charge, electronic, vibrational, spin, etc.; all in physically relevant parameter ranges. This talk focuses on using a many-body states based approach to investigate the regime of strong interaction between these degrees of freedom, with relatively weak coupling between the molecule and the electric reservoirs created by the conducting leads. We focused on three related processes, electron transfer, electronic energy transfer and molecular excitation. In collaboraton with Boris Fainberg, Faculty of Sciences, Holon Institute of Technology; Sergei Tretiak, Theoretical Division, Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies, Los Alamos National Laboratory; and Michael Galperin, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California San Diego.

  6. Single-Molecule Imaging with X-Ray Free-Electron Lasers: Dream or Reality?

    SciTech Connect

    Fratalocchi, A.; Ruocco, G.

    2011-03-11

    X-ray free-electron lasers (XFEL) are revolutionary photon sources, whose ultrashort, brilliant pulses are expected to allow single-molecule diffraction experiments providing structural information on the atomic length scale of nonperiodic objects. This ultimate goal, however, is currently hampered by several challenging questions basically concerning sample damage, Coulomb explosion, and the role of nonlinearity. By employing an original ab initio approach, we address these issues showing that XFEL-based single-molecule imaging will be only possible with a few-hundred long attosecond pulses, due to significant radiation damage and the formation of preferred multisoliton clusters which reshape the overall electronic density of the molecular system at the femtosecond scale.

  7. Role of solvents in the electronic transport properties of single-molecule junctions

    PubMed Central

    Luka-Guth, Katharina; Hambsch, Sebastian; Bloch, Andreas; Ehrenreich, Philipp; Briechle, Bernd Michael; Kilibarda, Filip; Sendler, Torsten; Sysoiev, Dmytro; Huhn, Thomas; Erbe, Artur

    2016-01-01

    Summary We report on an experimental study of the charge transport through tunnel gaps formed by adjustable gold electrodes immersed into different solvents that are commonly used in the field of molecular electronics (ethanol, toluene, mesitylene, 1,2,4-trichlorobenzene, isopropanol, toluene/tetrahydrofuran mixtures) for the study of single-molecule contacts of functional molecules. We present measurements of the conductance as a function of gap width, conductance histograms as well as current–voltage characteristics of narrow gaps and discuss them in terms of the Simmons model, which is the standard model for describing transport via tunnel barriers, and the resonant single-level model, often applied to single-molecule junctions. One of our conclusions is that stable junctions may form from solvents as well and that both conductance–distance traces and current–voltage characteristics have to be studied to distinguish between contacts of solvent molecules and of molecules under study. PMID:27547624

  8. Role of solvents in the electronic transport properties of single-molecule junctions.

    PubMed

    Luka-Guth, Katharina; Hambsch, Sebastian; Bloch, Andreas; Ehrenreich, Philipp; Briechle, Bernd Michael; Kilibarda, Filip; Sendler, Torsten; Sysoiev, Dmytro; Huhn, Thomas; Erbe, Artur; Scheer, Elke

    2016-01-01

    We report on an experimental study of the charge transport through tunnel gaps formed by adjustable gold electrodes immersed into different solvents that are commonly used in the field of molecular electronics (ethanol, toluene, mesitylene, 1,2,4-trichlorobenzene, isopropanol, toluene/tetrahydrofuran mixtures) for the study of single-molecule contacts of functional molecules. We present measurements of the conductance as a function of gap width, conductance histograms as well as current-voltage characteristics of narrow gaps and discuss them in terms of the Simmons model, which is the standard model for describing transport via tunnel barriers, and the resonant single-level model, often applied to single-molecule junctions. One of our conclusions is that stable junctions may form from solvents as well and that both conductance-distance traces and current-voltage characteristics have to be studied to distinguish between contacts of solvent molecules and of molecules under study.

  9. Electronic transport properties and orientation of individual Mn12 single-molecule magnets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Voss, S.; Zander, O.; Fonin, M.; Rüdiger, U.; Burgert, M.; Groth, U.

    2008-10-01

    Individual Mn12 single-molecule magnets have been investigated by means of scanning tunneling spectroscopy at room temperature. Current-voltage characteristics of a Mn12 derivative are studied in detail and compared with simulations. A few-parameter scalar model for ballistic current flow through a single energy level is sufficient to describe the main features observed in scanning tunneling spectra of individual Mn12 molecules and offers a deeper insight into the electronic transport properties of this class of single-molecule magnets. In addition, distance-voltage spectroscopy performed on individual Mn12 molecules reveals a possibility to identify the orientation of the molecular easy axis. The results indicate a preferential orientation of the easy axis of the molecules nearly perpendicular to the surface.

  10. Photon counting imaging and centroiding with an electron-bombarded CCD using single molecule localisation software

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hirvonen, Liisa M.; Barber, Matthew J.; Suhling, Klaus

    2016-06-01

    Photon event centroiding in photon counting imaging and single-molecule localisation in super-resolution fluorescence microscopy share many traits. Although photon event centroiding has traditionally been performed with simple single-iteration algorithms, we recently reported that iterative fitting algorithms originally developed for single-molecule localisation fluorescence microscopy work very well when applied to centroiding photon events imaged with an MCP-intensified CMOS camera. Here, we have applied these algorithms for centroiding of photon events from an electron-bombarded CCD (EBCCD). We find that centroiding algorithms based on iterative fitting of the photon events yield excellent results and allow fitting of overlapping photon events, a feature not reported before and an important aspect to facilitate an increased count rate and shorter acquisition times.

  11. Photon counting imaging and centroiding with an electron-bombarded CCD using single molecule localisation software

    PubMed Central

    Hirvonen, Liisa M.; Barber, Matthew J.; Suhling, Klaus

    2016-01-01

    Photon event centroiding in photon counting imaging and single-molecule localisation in super-resolution fluorescence microscopy share many traits. Although photon event centroiding has traditionally been performed with simple single-iteration algorithms, we recently reported that iterative fitting algorithms originally developed for single-molecule localisation fluorescence microscopy work very well when applied to centroiding photon events imaged with an MCP-intensified CMOS camera. Here, we have applied these algorithms for centroiding of photon events from an electron-bombarded CCD (EBCCD). We find that centroiding algorithms based on iterative fitting of the photon events yield excellent results and allow fitting of overlapping photon events, a feature not reported before and an important aspect to facilitate an increased count rate and shorter acquisition times. PMID:27274604

  12. Research Update: Molecular electronics: The single-molecule switch and transistor

    SciTech Connect

    Sotthewes, Kai; Heimbuch, René Kumar, Avijit; Zandvliet, Harold J. W.; Geskin, Victor

    2014-01-01

    In order to design and realize single-molecule devices it is essential to have a good understanding of the properties of an individual molecule. For electronic applications, the most important property of a molecule is its conductance. Here we show how a single octanethiol molecule can be connected to macroscopic leads and how the transport properties of the molecule can be measured. Based on this knowledge we have realized two single-molecule devices: a molecular switch and a molecular transistor. The switch can be opened and closed at will by carefully adjusting the separation between the electrical contacts and the voltage drop across the contacts. This single-molecular switch operates in a broad temperature range from cryogenic temperatures all the way up to room temperature. Via mechanical gating, i.e., compressing or stretching of the octanethiol molecule, by varying the contact's interspace, we are able to systematically adjust the conductance of the electrode-octanethiol-electrode junction. This two-terminal single-molecule transistor is very robust, but the amplification factor is rather limited.

  13. Controlling electronic access to the spin excitations of a single molecule in a tunnel junction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hirjibehedin, Cyrus F.; Warner, Ben; El Hallak, Fadi; Prueser, Henning; Ajibade, Afolabi; Gill, Tobias G.; Fisher, Andrew J.; Persson, Mats

    Spintronic phenomena can be utilized to create new devices with applications in data storage and sensing. Scaling these down to the single molecule level requires controlling the properties of the current-carrying orbitals to enable access to spin states through phenomena such as inelastic electron tunneling. Here we show that the spintronic properties of a tunnel junction containing a single molecule can be controlled by their coupling to the local environment. For tunneling through iron phthalocyanine (FePc) on an insulating copper nitride (Cu2N) monolayer above Cu(001), we find that spin transitions may be strongly excited depending on the binding site of the central Fe atom. Different interactions between the Fe and the underlying Cu or N atoms shift the Fe d-orbitals with respect to the Fermi energy, and control the relative strength of the spin excitations, an effect that can described in a simple co-tunneling model. This work demonstrates the importance of the atomic-scale environment in the development of single molecule spintronic devices.

  14. Nonlinear thermoelectric transport in single-molecule junctions: the effect of electron-phonon interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zimbovskaya, Natalya A.

    2016-07-01

    In this paper, we theoretically analyze steady-state thermoelectric transport through a single-molecule junction with a vibrating bridge. The thermally induced charge current in the system is explored using a nonequilibrium Green function formalism. We study the combined effects of Coulomb interactions between charge carriers on the bridge and electron-phonon interactions on the thermocurrent beyond the linear response regime. It is shown that electron-vibron interactions may significantly affect both the magnitude and the direction of the thermocurrent, and vibrational signatures may appear.

  15. Probing transverse magnetic anisotropy by electronic transport through a single-molecule magnet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Misiorny, M.; Burzurí, E.; Gaudenzi, R.; Park, K.; Leijnse, M.; Wegewijs, M. R.; Paaske, J.; Cornia, A.; van der Zant, H. S. J.

    2015-01-01

    By means of electronic transport, we study the transverse magnetic anisotropy of an individual Fe4 single-molecule magnet (SMM) embedded in a three-terminal junction. In particular, we determine in situ the transverse anisotropy of the molecule from the pronounced intensity modulations of the linear conductance, which are observed as a function of applied magnetic field. The proposed technique works at temperatures exceeding the energy scale of the tunnel splittings of the SMM. We deduce that the transverse anisotropy for a single Fe4 molecule captured in a junction is substantially larger than the bulk value.

  16. Single-electron transport through a Mn12 (2-thiophenecarboxylate) single-molecule magnet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramsey, Christopher M.; Del Barco, Enrique; Mucciolo, Eduardo; Haque, Firoze; Khondaker, Saiful; Leuenberger, Michael; Mishra, Abhudaya; Christou, George

    2006-03-01

    We report single-electron transport measurements on Mn12 based single-molecule magnet, which has been functionalized with 2-thiophenecarboxylate ligands that bind to gold. The self-assembly of these molecules was confirmed by scanning probe microscopy and XPS measurements. Because it is well known that the molecule's environment within the crystal can have a profound influence on the quantum properties of the system, it is important to study the quantum spin dynamics in individual isolated molecules. Single electron transistor devices have been prepared for this purpose by electron beam lithography and electromigration. The transport properties of a single, isolated Mn12(2-thiophenecarboxylate) molecule were measured down to mK temperatures in a 3-D superconducting vector magnet with arbitrary field direction. The data are characteristic of a molecular single-electron transistor device where the SMM bridges the gap between two gold nanoelectrodes. Magnetic field and temperature dependence as well as theoretical aspects will be discussed.

  17. Conformation-controlled electron transport in single-molecule junctions containing oligo(phenylene ethynylene) derivatives.

    PubMed

    Wang, Le-Jia; Yong, Ai; Zhou, Kai-Ge; Tan, Lin; Ye, Jian; Wu, Guo-Ping; Xu, Zhu-Guo; Zhang, Hao-Li

    2013-08-01

    Understanding the relationships between the molecular structure and electronic transport characteristics of single-molecule junctions is of fundamental and technological importance for future molecular electronics. Herein, we report a combined experimental and theoretical study on the single-molecule conductance of a series of oligo(phenylene ethynylene) (OPE) molecular wires, which consist of two phenyl-ethynyl-phenyl π units with different dihedral angles. The molecular conductance was studied by scanning tunneling microscopy (STM)-based break-junction techniques under different conditions, including variable temperature and bias potential, which suggested that a coherent tunneling mechanism takes place in the OPE molecular wires with a length of 2.5 nm. The conductance of OPE molecular junctions are strongly affected by the coupling strength between the two π systems, which can be tuned by controlling their intramolecular conformation. A cos(2)θ dependence was revealed between the molecular conductance and dihedral angles between the two conjugated units. Theoretical investigations on the basis of density functional theory and nonequilibrium Green's functions (NEGF) gave consistent results with the experimental observations and provided insights into the conformation-dominated molecular conductance.

  18. Site-Selection in Single-Molecule Junction for Highly Reproducible Molecular Electronics.

    PubMed

    Kaneko, Satoshi; Murai, Daigo; Marqués-González, Santiago; Nakamura, Hisao; Komoto, Yuki; Fujii, Shintaro; Nishino, Tomoaki; Ikeda, Katsuyoshi; Tsukagoshi, Kazuhito; Kiguchi, Manabu

    2016-02-01

    Adsorption sites of molecules critically determine the electric/photonic properties and the stability of heterogeneous molecule-metal interfaces. Then, selectivity of adsorption site is essential for development of the fields including organic electronics, catalysis, and biology. However, due to current technical limitations, site-selectivity, i.e., precise determination of the molecular adsorption site, remains a major challenge because of difficulty in precise selection of meaningful one among the sites. We have succeeded the single site-selection at a single-molecule junction by performing newly developed hybrid technique: simultaneous characterization of surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) and current-voltage (I-V) measurements. The I-V response of 1,4-benzenedithiol junctions reveals the existence of three metastable states arising from different adsorption sites. Notably, correlated SERS measurements show selectivity toward one of the adsorption sites: "bridge sites". This site-selectivity represents an essential step toward the reliable integration of individual molecules on metallic surfaces. Furthermore, the hybrid spectro-electric technique reveals the dependence of the SERS intensity on the strength of the molecule-metal interaction, showing the interdependence between the optical and electronic properties in single-molecule junctions.

  19. Single-molecule spectroscopy exposes hidden states in an enzymatic electron relay

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grossman, Iris; Yuval Aviram, Haim; Armony, Gad; Horovitz, Amnon; Hofmann, Hagen; Haran, Gilad; Fass, Deborah

    2015-10-01

    The ability to query enzyme molecules individually is transforming our view of catalytic mechanisms. Quiescin sulfhydryl oxidase (QSOX) is a multidomain catalyst of disulfide-bond formation that relays electrons from substrate cysteines through two redox-active sites to molecular oxygen. The chemical steps in electron transfer have been delineated, but the conformational changes accompanying these steps are poorly characterized. Here we use single-molecule Förster resonance energy transfer (smFRET) to probe QSOX conformation in resting and cycling enzyme populations. We report the discovery of unanticipated roles for conformational changes in QSOX beyond mediating electron transfer between redox-active sites. In particular, a state of the enzyme not previously postulated or experimentally detected is shown to gate, via a conformational transition, the entrance into a sub-cycle within an expanded QSOX kinetic scheme. By tightly constraining mechanistic models, smFRET data can reveal the coupling between conformational and chemical transitions in complex enzymatic cycles.

  20. Electron diffraction of CBr4 in superfluid helium droplets: A step towards single molecule diffraction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, Yunteng; Zhang, Jie; Kong, Wei

    2016-07-01

    We demonstrate the practicality of electron diffraction of single molecules inside superfluid helium droplets using CBr4 as a testing case. By reducing the background from pure undoped droplets via multiple doping, with small corrections for dimers and trimers, clearly resolved diffraction rings of CBr4 similar to those of gas phase molecules can be observed. The experimental data from CBr4 doped droplets are in agreement with both theoretical calculations and with experimental results of gaseous species. The abundance of monomers and clusters in the droplet beam also qualitatively agrees with the Poisson statistics. Possible extensions of this approach to macromolecular ions will also be discussed. This result marks the first step in building a molecular goniometer using superfluid helium droplet cooling and field induced orientation. The superior cooling effect of helium droplets is ideal for field induced orientation, but the diffraction background from helium is a concern. This work addresses this background issue and identifies a possible solution. Accumulation of diffraction images only becomes meaningful when all images are produced from molecules oriented in the same direction, and hence a molecular goniometer is a crucial technology for serial diffraction of single molecules.

  1. Electron diffraction of CBr4 in superfluid helium droplets: A step towards single molecule diffraction.

    PubMed

    He, Yunteng; Zhang, Jie; Kong, Wei

    2016-07-21

    We demonstrate the practicality of electron diffraction of single molecules inside superfluid helium droplets using CBr4 as a testing case. By reducing the background from pure undoped droplets via multiple doping, with small corrections for dimers and trimers, clearly resolved diffraction rings of CBr4 similar to those of gas phase molecules can be observed. The experimental data from CBr4 doped droplets are in agreement with both theoretical calculations and with experimental results of gaseous species. The abundance of monomers and clusters in the droplet beam also qualitatively agrees with the Poisson statistics. Possible extensions of this approach to macromolecular ions will also be discussed. This result marks the first step in building a molecular goniometer using superfluid helium droplet cooling and field induced orientation. The superior cooling effect of helium droplets is ideal for field induced orientation, but the diffraction background from helium is a concern. This work addresses this background issue and identifies a possible solution. Accumulation of diffraction images only becomes meaningful when all images are produced from molecules oriented in the same direction, and hence a molecular goniometer is a crucial technology for serial diffraction of single molecules. PMID:27448887

  2. Single molecule electronics: increasing dynamic range and switching speed using cross-conjugated species.

    PubMed

    Andrews, David Q; Solomon, Gemma C; Van Duyne, Richard P; Ratner, Mark A

    2008-12-24

    Molecular electronics is partly driven by the goal of producing active electronic elements that rival the performance of their solid-state counterparts, but on a much smaller size scale. We investigate what constitutes an ideal switch or molecular device, and how it can be designed, by analyzing transmission plots. The interference features in cross-conjugated molecules provide a large dynamic range in electron transmission probability, opening a new area for addressing electronic functionality in molecules. This large dynamic range is accessible through changes in electron density alone, enabling fast and stable switching. Using cross-conjugated molecules, we show how the width, depth, and energetic location of the interference features can be controlled. In an example of a single molecule transistor, we calculate a change in conductance of 8 orders of magnitude with an applied gate voltage. Using multiple interference features, we propose and calculate the current/voltage behavior of a molecular rectifier with a rectification ratio of >150,000. We calculate a purely electronic negative differential resistance behavior, suggesting that the large dynamic range in electron transmission probability caused by quantum interference could be exploited in future electronic devices.

  3. Nanopore integrated with Au clusters formed under electron beam irradiation for single molecule analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choi, Seong Soo; Park, Myoung Jin; Han, Chul Hee; Kim, Sung In; Yoo, Jung Ho; Park, Kyung Jin; Park, Nam Kyou; Kim, Yong-Sang

    2016-02-01

    Recently the single molecules such as protein and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) have been successfully characterized using a solidstate nanopore with an electrical detection technique. However, the optical plasmonic nanopore has yet to be fabricated. The optical detection technique can be better utilized as next generation ultrafast geneome sequencing devices due to the possible utilization of the current optical technique for genome sequencing. In this report, we have investigated the Au nanopore formation under the electron beam irradiation on an Au aperture. The circular-type nanoopening with ~ 5 nm diameter on the diffused membrane is fabricated by using 2 keV electron beam irradiation by using field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM). We found the Au cluster on the periphery of the drilled aperture under a 2 keV electron beam irradiation. Immediately right after electron beam irradiation, no Au cluster and no Au crystal lattice structure on the diffused plane are observed. However, after the sample was kept for ~ 6 months under a room environment, the Au clusters are found on the diffused membrane and the Au crystal lattice structures on the diffused membrane are also found using high resolution transmission electron microscopy. These phenomena can be attributed to Ostwald ripening. In addition, the Au nano-hole on the 40 nm thick Au membrane was also drilled by using 200 keV scanning transmission electron microscopy.

  4. Electron Transport, Energy Transfer, and Optical Response in Single Molecule Junctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, Alexander James

    The last decade has seen incredible growth in the quality of experiments being done on single molecule junctions. Contemporary experimental measurements have expanded far beyond simple electron transport. Measurement of vibronic eects, quantum interference and decoherence eects, molecular optical response (Raman spectroscopy), and molecular spintronics are just some of the continuing areas of research in single molecule junctions. Experimental advancements demand advanced theoretical treatments, which can be used accurately within appropriate physical regimes, in order to understand measured phenomena and predict interesting directions for future study. In this dissertation we will study systems with strong intra-system interactions using a many-body states based approach. We will be focused on three related processes in molecular junctions: electron transport, electronic energy transfer, and molecular excitation. Inelastic electron transport in the regime of strong and nonlinear electron-vibration coupling within and outside of the Born-Oppenheimer regime will be investigated. To understand their appropriateness, we will compare simple semi-classical approximations in molecular redox junctions and electron-counting devices to fully quantum calculations based on many-body system states. The role of coherence and quantum interference in energy and electron transfer in molecular junctions is explored. Experiments that simultaneously measure surface enhanced Raman scattering and electron conduction have revealed a strong interaction between conducting electrons and molecular excitation. We investigate the role of the molecular response to a classical surface plasmon enhanced electric eld considering the back action of the oscillating molecular dipole. Raman scattering is quantum mechanical by nature and involves strong interaction between surface plasmons in the contacts and the molecular excitation. We develop a scheme for treating strong plasmon-molecular excitation

  5. Single-Molecule Electronic Measurements of the Dynamic Flexibility of Histone Deacetylases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Froberg, James; You, Seungyong; Yu, Junru; Haldar, Manas; Sedigh, Abbas; Mallik, Sanku; Srivastava, D. K.; Choi, Yongki

    Due to their involvement in epigenetic regulation, histone deacetylases (HDACs) have gained considerable interest in designing drugs for treatment of a variety of human diseases including cancers. Recently, we applied a label-free, electronic single-molecule nano-circuit technique to gain insight into the contribution of the dynamic flexibility in HDACs structure during the course of substrates/ ligands binding and catalysis. We observed that HDAC8 has two major (dynamically interconvertible) conformational states, ``ground (catalytically unfavorable)'' and ``transition (catalytically favorable)''. In addition, we found that its cognate substrates/ligands reciprocally catalyze the transition of the ground to the transition state conformation of HDAC8. Thus, we propose that both enzymes and their substrates/ligands serve as ``catalysts'' in facilitating the structural changes of each other and promoting the overall chemical transformation reaction. Such new information provides the potential for designing a new class of mechanism-based inhibitors and activators of HDAC8 for treating human diseases.

  6. A study of planar anchor groups for graphene-based single-molecule electronics

    SciTech Connect

    Bailey, Steven; Visontai, David; Lambert, Colin J.; Bryce, Martin R.; Frampton, Harry; Chappell, David

    2014-02-07

    To identify families of stable planar anchor groups for use in single molecule electronics, we report detailed results for the binding energies of two families of anthracene and pyrene derivatives adsorbed onto graphene. We find that all the selected derivatives functionalized with either electron donating or electron accepting substituents bind more strongly to graphene than the parent non-functionalized anthracene or pyrene. The binding energy is sensitive to the detailed atomic alignment of substituent groups over the graphene substrate leading to larger than expected binding energies for –OH and –CN derivatives. Furthermore, the ordering of the binding energies within the anthracene and pyrene series does not simply follow the electron affinities of the substituents. Energy barriers to rotation or displacement on the graphene surface are much lower than binding energies for adsorption and therefore at room temperature, although the molecules are bound to the graphene, they are almost free to move along the graphene surface. Binding energies can be increased by incorporating electrically inert side chains and are sensitive to the conformation of such chains.

  7. A study of planar anchor groups for graphene-based single-molecule electronics.

    PubMed

    Bailey, Steven; Visontai, David; Lambert, Colin J; Bryce, Martin R; Frampton, Harry; Chappell, David

    2014-02-01

    To identify families of stable planar anchor groups for use in single molecule electronics, we report detailed results for the binding energies of two families of anthracene and pyrene derivatives adsorbed onto graphene. We find that all the selected derivatives functionalized with either electron donating or electron accepting substituents bind more strongly to graphene than the parent non-functionalized anthracene or pyrene. The binding energy is sensitive to the detailed atomic alignment of substituent groups over the graphene substrate leading to larger than expected binding energies for -OH and -CN derivatives. Furthermore, the ordering of the binding energies within the anthracene and pyrene series does not simply follow the electron affinities of the substituents. Energy barriers to rotation or displacement on the graphene surface are much lower than binding energies for adsorption and therefore at room temperature, although the molecules are bound to the graphene, they are almost free to move along the graphene surface. Binding energies can be increased by incorporating electrically inert side chains and are sensitive to the conformation of such chains.

  8. Single-molecule spectroscopy exposes hidden states in an enzymatic electron relay

    PubMed Central

    Grossman, Iris; Yuval Aviram, Haim; Armony, Gad; Horovitz, Amnon; Hofmann, Hagen; Haran, Gilad; Fass, Deborah

    2015-01-01

    The ability to query enzyme molecules individually is transforming our view of catalytic mechanisms. Quiescin sulfhydryl oxidase (QSOX) is a multidomain catalyst of disulfide-bond formation that relays electrons from substrate cysteines through two redox-active sites to molecular oxygen. The chemical steps in electron transfer have been delineated, but the conformational changes accompanying these steps are poorly characterized. Here we use single-molecule Förster resonance energy transfer (smFRET) to probe QSOX conformation in resting and cycling enzyme populations. We report the discovery of unanticipated roles for conformational changes in QSOX beyond mediating electron transfer between redox-active sites. In particular, a state of the enzyme not previously postulated or experimentally detected is shown to gate, via a conformational transition, the entrance into a sub-cycle within an expanded QSOX kinetic scheme. By tightly constraining mechanistic models, smFRET data can reveal the coupling between conformational and chemical transitions in complex enzymatic cycles. PMID:26468675

  9. Electron transport in endohedral metallofullerene Ce@C{sub 82} single-molecule transistors

    SciTech Connect

    Okamura, Naoya; Yoshida, Kenji; Sakata, Shuichi; Hirakawa, Kazuhiko

    2015-01-26

    We have investigated the electron transport in endohedral metallofullerene Ce@C{sub 82} single-molecule transistors (SMTs) together with that in reference C{sub 84} SMTs. The vibrational modes (bending and stretching) of the encapsulated single Ce atom in the C{sub 82} cage appear in Coulomb stability diagrams for the single-electron tunneling through Ce@C{sub 82} molecules, demonstrating the single-atom sensitivity of the transport measurements. When a bias voltage larger than 100 mV is applied across the source/drain electrodes, large hysteretic behavior is observed in the current-voltage (I-V) characteristics. At the same time, the pattern in the Coulomb stability diagram is changed. No such hysteretic behavior is observed in the I-V curves of hollow-cage C{sub 84} SMTs, even when the bias voltage exceeds 500 mV. This hysteretic change in the I-V characteristics is induced by a nanomechanical change in the configuration of the Ce@C{sub 82} molecule in the nanogap electrode due to the electric dipole that exists in Ce@C{sub 82}.

  10. Electron spin resonance and muon spin relaxation studies of single molecule magnets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blundell, Stephen

    2005-03-01

    We use a combination of electron spin resonance, muon-spin relaxation and SQUID magnetometry to study polycrystalline and single crystal samples of various novel single molecule magnets (SMMs). We also describe a theoretical framework which can be used to analyse the results from each technique. Electron spin resonance measurements are performed using a millimetre vector network analyser and data are presented on several SMM systems using microwave frequencies from 40-300 GHz. Muon-spin relaxation measurements have been performed on several SMM systems in applied longitudinal magnetic field and in temperatures down to 20 mK. The results suggest that dynamic local magnetic field fluctuations are responsible for the relaxation of the muon spin ensemble. We discuss what can be learned from these experiments concerning SMMs and suggest experiments which can probe the quantum nature of SMMs. (Work in collaboration with S Sharmin, T Lancaster, A Ardavan, F L Pratt, E J L McInnes and R E P Winpenny) References: S. J. Blundell and F. L. Pratt, J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 16, R771 (2004); T. Lancaster et al., J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 16, S4563 (2004); S. Sharmin et al., Appl. Phys. Lett. in press.

  11. Importance of direct metal-π coupling in electronic transport through conjugated single-molecule junctions.

    PubMed

    Meisner, Jeffrey S; Ahn, Seokhoon; Aradhya, Sriharsha V; Krikorian, Markrete; Parameswaran, Radha; Steigerwald, Michael; Venkataraman, Latha; Nuckolls, Colin

    2012-12-19

    We study the effects of molecular structure on the electronic transport and mechanical stability of single-molecule junctions formed with Au point contacts. Two types of linear conjugated molecular wires are compared: those functionalized with methylsulfide or amine aurophilic groups at (1) both or (2) only one of its phenyl termini. Using scanning tunneling and atomic force microscope break-junction techniques, the conductance of mono- and difunctionalized molecular wires and its dependence on junction elongation and rupture forces were studied. Charge transport through monofunctionalized wires is observed when the molecular bridge is coupled through a S-Au donor-acceptor bond on one end and a relatively weak Au-π interaction on the other end. For monofunctionalized molecular wires, junctions can be mechanically stabilized by installing a second aurophilic group at the meta position that, however, does not in itself contribute to a new conduction pathway. These results reveal the important interplay between electronic coupling through metal-π interactions and quantum mechanical effects introduced by chemical substitution on the conjugated system. This study affords a strategy to deterministically tune the electrical and mechanical properties through molecular wires.

  12. Electrons, Photons, and Force: Quantitative Single-Molecule Measurements from Physics to Biology

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Single-molecule measurement techniques have illuminated unprecedented details of chemical behavior, including observations of the motion of a single molecule on a surface, and even the vibration of a single bond within a molecule. Such measurements are critical to our understanding of entities ranging from single atoms to the most complex protein assemblies. We provide an overview of the strikingly diverse classes of measurements that can be used to quantify single-molecule properties, including those of single macromolecules and single molecular assemblies, and discuss the quantitative insights they provide. Examples are drawn from across the single-molecule literature, ranging from ultrahigh vacuum scanning tunneling microscopy studies of adsorbate diffusion on surfaces to fluorescence studies of protein conformational changes in solution. PMID:21338175

  13. Electrical properties and mechanical stability of anchoring groups for single-molecule electronics.

    PubMed

    Frisenda, Riccardo; Tarkuç, Simge; Galán, Elena; Perrin, Mickael L; Eelkema, Rienk; Grozema, Ferdinand C; van der Zant, Herre S J

    2015-01-01

    We report on an experimental investigation of transport through single molecules, trapped between two gold nano-electrodes fabricated with the mechanically controlled break junction (MCBJ) technique. The four molecules studied share the same core structure, namely oligo(phenylene ethynylene) (OPE3), while having different aurophilic anchoring groups: thiol (SAc), methyl sulfide (SMe), pyridyl (Py) and amine (NH2). The focus of this paper is on the combined characterization of the electrical and mechanical properties determined by the anchoring groups. From conductance histograms we find that thiol anchored molecules provide the highest conductance; a single-level model fit to current-voltage characteristics suggests that SAc groups exhibit a higher electronic coupling to the electrodes, together with better level alignment than the other three groups. An analysis of the mechanical stability, recording the lifetime in a self-breaking method, shows that Py and SAc yield the most stable junctions while SMe form short-lived junctions. Density functional theory combined with non-equlibrium Green's function calculations help in elucidating the experimental findings.

  14. Manipulation and characterization of thin-film interfacial chemistry: Sol-gel deposition and single molecule tracking experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barhoum, Moussa

    Single molecule trajectories of 1,1'-dioctadecyl-3,3,3'3'-tetramethylindocarbo - cyanine perchlorate (DiI) fluorophores diffusing on planar supported 1,2-dimyristoyl-snglycero- 3-phosphocholine (DMPC) lipid bilayers imaged through total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy at different temperatures are investigated. The spatial resolution limit for detecting molecular motion is evaluated by characterizing the apparent motion which arises from the limited signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) of imaged and simulated stationary DiI molecules. Statistical criteria for reliably distinguishing molecular motion from stationary molecules using F-test statistics, including the computation of local signal-to-noise ratios are then established and used for reliably detecting subdiffraction motion of DiI molecules on DMPC. The same single molecule tracking concept is used in investigating the temperature dependence of subdiffraction diffusional confinement of single Rhodamine 6G molecules in polymer brushes of poly (N-isopropylacrylamide), pNIPAAm, above and below its lower critical solution temperature (LCST) of 32°C. Reliably distinguishing subdiffraction molecular motion from stationary events is crucial in validating the application of single molecule tracking experiment in probing nanometersized hydrophobic environments of polymer structure. A versatile and rapid sol-gel technique for the fabrication of high quality one-dimensional photonic bandgap materials was developed. Silica/titania multilayer materials are fabricated by a sol-gel chemistry route combined with dip-coating onto planar or curved substrate. A shock-cooling step immediately following the thin film heat-treatment process is introduced. The versatility of this sol-gel method is demonstrated by the fabrication of various Bragg stack-type materials with fine-tuned optical properties. Measured optical properties show good agreement with theoretical simulations confirming the high quality of these sol

  15. Nanographenes as active components of single-molecule electronics and how a scanning tunneling microscope puts them to work.

    PubMed

    Müllen, Klaus; Rabe, Jürgen P

    2008-04-01

    Single-molecule electronics, that is, realizing novel electronic functionalities from single (or very few) molecules, holds promise for application in various technologies, including signal processing and sensing. Nanographenes, which are extended polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), are highly attractive subjects for studies of single-molecule electronics because the electronic properties of their flat conjugated systems can be varied dramatically through synthetic modification of their sizes and topologies. Single nanographenes provide high tunneling currents when adsorbed flat onto conducting substrates, such as graphite. Because of their chemical inertness, nanographenes interact only weakly with these substrates, thereby preventing the need for special epitaxial structure matching. Instead, self-assembly at the interface between a conducting solid, such as the basal plane of graphite, and a nanographene solution generally leads to highly ordered monolayers. Scanning tunneling spectroscopy (STS) allows the current-voltage characteristics to be measured through a single molecule positioned between two electrodes; the key to the success of STS is the ability to position the scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) tip freely with respect to the molecule in all dimensions, that is, both parallel and perpendicular to the surface. In this Account, we report the properties of nanographenes having sizes ranging from 0.7 to 3.1 nm and exhibiting various symmetry, periphery, and substitution types. The size of the aromatic system and the nature of its perimeter are two essential features affecting its HOMO-LUMO gap and charge carrier mobility in the condensed phase. Moreover, the extended pi area of larger substituted PAHs improves the degree of self-ordering, another key requirement for high-performance electronic devices. Self-assembly at the interface between an organic solution and the basal plane of graphite allows deposition of single molecules within the well

  16. Dependence of magnetic field and electronic transport of Mn4 Single-molecule magnet in a Single-Electron Transistor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodriguez, Alvar; Singh, Simranjeet; Haque, Firoze; Del Barco, Enrique; Nguyen, Tu; Christou, George

    2012-02-01

    Dependence of magnetic field and electronic transport of Mn4 Single-molecule magnet in a Single-Electron Transistor A. Rodriguez, S. Singh, F. Haque and E. del Barco Department of Physics, University of Central Florida, 4000 Central Florida Blvd., Orlando, Florida 32816 USA T. Nguyen and G. Christou Department of Chemistry, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611 USA Abstract We have performed single-electron transport measurements on a series of Mn-based low-nuclearity single-molecule magnets (SMM) observing Coulomb blockade. SMMs with well isolated and low ground spin states, i.e. S = 9/2 (Mn4) and S = 6 (Mn3) were chosen for these studies, such that the ground spin multiplet does not mix with levels of other excited spin states for the magnetic fields (H = 0-8 T) employed in the experiments. Different functionalization groups were employed to change the mechanical, geometrical and transport characteristics of the molecules when deposited from liquid solution on the transistors. Electromigration-broken three-terminal single-electron transistors were used. Results obtained at temperatures down to 240 mK and in the presence of high magnetic fields will be shown.

  17. Fine-tuning of single-molecule conductance by tweaking both electronic structure and conformation of side substituents.

    PubMed

    Aragonès, Albert C; Darwish, Nadim; Im, JongOne; Lim, Boram; Choi, Jeongae; Koo, Sangho; Díez-Pérez, Ismael

    2015-05-18

    Herein, we describe a method to fine-tune the conductivity of single-molecule wires by employing a combination of chemical composition and geometrical modifications of multiple phenyl side groups as conductance modulators embedded along the main axis of the electronic pathway. We have measured the single-molecule conductivity of a novel series of phenyl-substituted carotenoid wires whose conductivity can be tuned with high precision over an order of magnitude range by modulating both the electron-donating character of the phenyl substituent and its dihedral angle. It is demonstrated that the electronic communication between the phenyl side groups and the molecular wire is maximized when the phenyl groups are twisted closer to the plane of the conjugated molecular wire. These findings can be refined to a general technique for precisely tuning the conductivity of molecular wires.

  18. Flicker Noise as a Probe of Electronic Interaction at Metal-Single Molecule Interfaces.

    PubMed

    Adak, Olgun; Rosenthal, Ethan; Meisner, Jeffery; Andrade, Erick F; Pasupathy, Abhay N; Nuckolls, Colin; Hybertsen, Mark S; Venkataraman, Latha

    2015-06-10

    Charge transport properties of metal-molecule interfaces depend strongly on the character of molecule-electrode interactions. Although through-bond coupled systems have attracted the most attention, through-space coupling is important in molecular systems when, for example, through-bond coupling is suppressed due to quantum interference effects. To date, a probe that clearly distinguishes these two types of coupling has not yet been demonstrated. Here, we investigate the origin of flicker noise in single molecule junctions and demonstrate how the character of the molecule-electrode coupling influences the flicker noise behavior of single molecule junctions. Importantly, we find that flicker noise shows a power law dependence on conductance in all junctions studied with an exponent that can distinguish through-space and through-bond coupling. Our results provide a new and powerful tool for probing and understanding coupling at the metal-molecule interface.

  19. Quantitative Connection between Ensemble Thermodynamics and Single-Molecule Kinetics: A Case Study Using Cryogenic Electron Microscopy and Single-Molecule Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer Investigations of the Ribosome.

    PubMed

    Kinz-Thompson, Colin D; Sharma, Ajeet K; Frank, Joachim; Gonzalez, Ruben L; Chowdhury, Debashish

    2015-08-27

    At equilibrium, thermodynamic and kinetic information can be extracted from biomolecular energy landscapes by many techniques. However, while static, ensemble techniques yield thermodynamic data, often only dynamic, single-molecule techniques can yield the kinetic data that describe transition-state energy barriers. Here we present a generalized framework based upon dwell-time distributions that can be used to connect such static, ensemble techniques with dynamic, single-molecule techniques, and thus characterize energy landscapes to greater resolutions. We demonstrate the utility of this framework by applying it to cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM) and single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (smFRET) studies of the bacterial ribosomal pre-translocation complex. Among other benefits, application of this framework to these data explains why two transient, intermediate conformations of the pre-translocation complex, which are observed in a cryo-EM study, may not be observed in several smFRET studies.

  20. Characteristics of amine-ended and thiol-ended alkane single-molecule junctions revealed by inelastic electron tunneling spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Kim, Youngsang; Hellmuth, Thomas Julian; Bürkle, Marius; Pauly, Fabian; Scheer, Elke

    2011-05-24

    A combined experimental and theoretical analysis of the charge transport through single-molecule junctions is performed to define the influence of molecular end groups for increasing electrode separation. For both amine-ended and thiol-ended octanes contacted to gold electrodes, we study signatures of chain formation by analyzing kinks in conductance traces, the junction length, and inelastic electron tunneling spectroscopy. The results show that for amine-ended molecular junctions no atomic chains are pulled under stretching, whereas the Au electrodes strongly deform for thiol-ended molecular junctions. This advanced approach hence provides unambiguous evidence that the amine anchors bind only weakly to Au. PMID:21506567

  1. Direct observation of apolipoprotein B refolding at single molecule level by ultra sensitive fluorescence microscopy and solution transmission electron microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, Chia-Ching; Chu, Hsueh-Liang; Lee, Hsing-Yuan; Cheng, Tsai-Mu; Chen, Gong-Shen; Chen, Fu-Rong

    2013-03-01

    Apolipoprotein (apo) B is the only protein of low-density lipoprotein (LDL). The huge size and extreme hydrophobicity of apoB make examination of its lipidation process an experimental challenge. In this study, we showed that apoB lipidation and its intermediates could be observed at single molecule level by an on-path folding process. When carboxyl-terminal-truncated mutants apoB-29 and apoB-48, representing the amino-terminal 29% and 48%, respectively, of the full-length apoB (apoB-100), were used for comparison, we observed that the refolded apoB-100 resembled both native LDL and VLDL precursors. Thus the process of lipidation recapitulates that of pre-VLDL assembly, in vitro. These results suggest that the assembly of mature VLDL requires involvement of factors in addition to apoB-100 and lipids. Using solution transmission electron microscopy (TEM), we were able to detect incorporation of hydrophobic super-paramagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles into apoB-100 particles at the initial, but not final, stage of refolding. The current study thus demonstrates that VLDL assembly can be monitored at single molecule level, too.

  2. Hydrated interfacial ions and electrons.

    PubMed

    Abel, Bernd

    2013-01-01

    Charged particles such as hydrated ions and transient hydrated electrons, the simplest anionic reducing agents in water, and the special hydronium and hydroxide ions at water interfaces play an important role in many fields of science, such as atmospheric chemistry, radiation chemistry, and biology, as well as biochemistry. This article focuses on these species near hydrophobic interfaces of water, such as the air or vacuum interface of water or water protein/membrane interfaces. Ions at interfaces as well as solvated electrons have been reviewed frequently during the past decade. Although all species have been known for some time with seemingly familiar features, recently the picture in all cases became increasingly diffuse rather than clearer. The current account gives a critical state-of-the art overview of what is known and what remains to be understood and investigated about hydrated interfacial ions and electrons.

  3. Real-time single-molecule electronic DNA sequencing by synthesis using polymer-tagged nucleotides on a nanopore array.

    PubMed

    Fuller, Carl W; Kumar, Shiv; Porel, Mintu; Chien, Minchen; Bibillo, Arek; Stranges, P Benjamin; Dorwart, Michael; Tao, Chuanjuan; Li, Zengmin; Guo, Wenjing; Shi, Shundi; Korenblum, Daniel; Trans, Andrew; Aguirre, Anne; Liu, Edward; Harada, Eric T; Pollard, James; Bhat, Ashwini; Cech, Cynthia; Yang, Alexander; Arnold, Cleoma; Palla, Mirkó; Hovis, Jennifer; Chen, Roger; Morozova, Irina; Kalachikov, Sergey; Russo, James J; Kasianowicz, John J; Davis, Randy; Roever, Stefan; Church, George M; Ju, Jingyue

    2016-05-10

    DNA sequencing by synthesis (SBS) offers a robust platform to decipher nucleic acid sequences. Recently, we reported a single-molecule nanopore-based SBS strategy that accurately distinguishes four bases by electronically detecting and differentiating four different polymer tags attached to the 5'-phosphate of the nucleotides during their incorporation into a growing DNA strand catalyzed by DNA polymerase. Further developing this approach, we report here the use of nucleotides tagged at the terminal phosphate with oligonucleotide-based polymers to perform nanopore SBS on an α-hemolysin nanopore array platform. We designed and synthesized several polymer-tagged nucleotides using tags that produce different electrical current blockade levels and verified they are active substrates for DNA polymerase. A highly processive DNA polymerase was conjugated to the nanopore, and the conjugates were complexed with primer/template DNA and inserted into lipid bilayers over individually addressable electrodes of the nanopore chip. When an incoming complementary-tagged nucleotide forms a tight ternary complex with the primer/template and polymerase, the tag enters the pore, and the current blockade level is measured. The levels displayed by the four nucleotides tagged with four different polymers captured in the nanopore in such ternary complexes were clearly distinguishable and sequence-specific, enabling continuous sequence determination during the polymerase reaction. Thus, real-time single-molecule electronic DNA sequencing data with single-base resolution were obtained. The use of these polymer-tagged nucleotides, combined with polymerase tethering to nanopores and multiplexed nanopore sensors, should lead to new high-throughput sequencing methods. PMID:27091962

  4. Real-time single-molecule electronic DNA sequencing by synthesis using polymer-tagged nucleotides on a nanopore array

    PubMed Central

    Fuller, Carl W.; Kumar, Shiv; Porel, Mintu; Chien, Minchen; Bibillo, Arek; Stranges, P. Benjamin; Dorwart, Michael; Tao, Chuanjuan; Li, Zengmin; Guo, Wenjing; Shi, Shundi; Korenblum, Daniel; Trans, Andrew; Aguirre, Anne; Liu, Edward; Harada, Eric T.; Pollard, James; Bhat, Ashwini; Cech, Cynthia; Yang, Alexander; Arnold, Cleoma; Palla, Mirkó; Hovis, Jennifer; Chen, Roger; Morozova, Irina; Kalachikov, Sergey; Russo, James J.; Kasianowicz, John J.; Davis, Randy; Roever, Stefan; Church, George M.; Ju, Jingyue

    2016-01-01

    DNA sequencing by synthesis (SBS) offers a robust platform to decipher nucleic acid sequences. Recently, we reported a single-molecule nanopore-based SBS strategy that accurately distinguishes four bases by electronically detecting and differentiating four different polymer tags attached to the 5′-phosphate of the nucleotides during their incorporation into a growing DNA strand catalyzed by DNA polymerase. Further developing this approach, we report here the use of nucleotides tagged at the terminal phosphate with oligonucleotide-based polymers to perform nanopore SBS on an α-hemolysin nanopore array platform. We designed and synthesized several polymer-tagged nucleotides using tags that produce different electrical current blockade levels and verified they are active substrates for DNA polymerase. A highly processive DNA polymerase was conjugated to the nanopore, and the conjugates were complexed with primer/template DNA and inserted into lipid bilayers over individually addressable electrodes of the nanopore chip. When an incoming complementary-tagged nucleotide forms a tight ternary complex with the primer/template and polymerase, the tag enters the pore, and the current blockade level is measured. The levels displayed by the four nucleotides tagged with four different polymers captured in the nanopore in such ternary complexes were clearly distinguishable and sequence-specific, enabling continuous sequence determination during the polymerase reaction. Thus, real-time single-molecule electronic DNA sequencing data with single-base resolution were obtained. The use of these polymer-tagged nucleotides, combined with polymerase tethering to nanopores and multiplexed nanopore sensors, should lead to new high-throughput sequencing methods. PMID:27091962

  5. Holography and coherent diffraction with low-energy electrons: A route towards structural biology at the single molecule level.

    PubMed

    Latychevskaia, Tatiana; Longchamp, Jean-Nicolas; Escher, Conrad; Fink, Hans-Werner

    2015-12-01

    The current state of the art in structural biology is led by NMR, X-ray crystallography and TEM investigations. These powerful tools however all rely on averaging over a large ensemble of molecules. Here, we present an alternative concept aiming at structural analysis at the single molecule level. We show that by combining electron holography and coherent diffraction imaging estimations concerning the phase of the scattered wave become needless as the phase information is extracted from the data directly and unambiguously. Performed with low-energy electrons the resolution of this lens-less microscope is just limited by the De Broglie wavelength of the electron wave and the numerical aperture, given by detector geometry. In imaging freestanding graphene, a resolution of 2Å has been achieved revealing the 660.000 unit cells of the graphene sheet from a single data set. Once applied to individual biomolecules the method shall ultimately allow for non-destructive imaging and imports the potential to distinguish between different conformations of proteins with atomic resolution.

  6. Structure-Dependent Electronic Interactions in Ethyne-Bridged Porphyrin Arrays Investigated by Single-Molecule Fluorescence Spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Lee, Sang Hyeon; Yang, Jaesung; Kim, Dongho

    2016-09-15

    By using single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy, we have investigated the electronic interaction of ethyne-bridged porphyrin arrays (ZNE) depending on their structure. The fluorescence dynamics of ZNE show a large amount of one-step photobleaching behaviors, indicating the high degree of π-conjugation. The ratio of one-step photobleaching behavior decreased as the number of porphyrin units increased. This behavior indicates that the linear and shortest Z2E shows a strong electronic coupling between constituent porphyrin moieties. Structural properties and orientation of ZNE were also measured by wide-field excitation fluorescence spectroscopy (ExPFS) and defocused wide-field imaging (DWFI). The ExPFS and DWFI show that the structure of absorbing and emitting units of Z2E and Z3E are linear. On the other hand, star-shaped pentamer with five porphyrins acts as an absorbing unit, but unidirectional trimer moiety acts as an emitting unit in the Z5E molecule. Collectively, these studies provide further information on the electronic interaction depending on their structure and length. PMID:27575018

  7. Movies of molecular motions and reactions: the single-molecule, real-time transmission electron microscope imaging technique.

    PubMed

    Nakamura, Eiichi

    2013-01-01

    "The truth is, the Science of Nature has been already too long made only a work of the Brain and the Fancy: It is now high time that it should return to the plainness and soundness of Observations on material and obvious things," proudly declared Robert Hooke in his highly successful picture book of microscopic and telescopic images, "Micrographia" in 1665. Hooke's statement has remained true in chemistry, where a considerable work of the brain and the fancy is still necessary. Single-molecule, real-time transmission electron microscope (SMRT-TEM) imaging at an atomic resolution now allows us to learn about molecules simply by watching movies of them. Like any dream come true, the new analytical technique challenged the old common sense of the communities, and offers new research opportunities that are unavailable by conventional methods. With its capacity to visualize the motions and the reactions of individual molecules and molecular clusters, the SMRT-TEM technique will become an indispensable tool in molecular science and the engineering of natural and synthetic substances, as well as in science education. PMID:23280645

  8. Movies of molecular motions and reactions: the single-molecule, real-time transmission electron microscope imaging technique.

    PubMed

    Nakamura, Eiichi

    2013-01-01

    "The truth is, the Science of Nature has been already too long made only a work of the Brain and the Fancy: It is now high time that it should return to the plainness and soundness of Observations on material and obvious things," proudly declared Robert Hooke in his highly successful picture book of microscopic and telescopic images, "Micrographia" in 1665. Hooke's statement has remained true in chemistry, where a considerable work of the brain and the fancy is still necessary. Single-molecule, real-time transmission electron microscope (SMRT-TEM) imaging at an atomic resolution now allows us to learn about molecules simply by watching movies of them. Like any dream come true, the new analytical technique challenged the old common sense of the communities, and offers new research opportunities that are unavailable by conventional methods. With its capacity to visualize the motions and the reactions of individual molecules and molecular clusters, the SMRT-TEM technique will become an indispensable tool in molecular science and the engineering of natural and synthetic substances, as well as in science education.

  9. Electron and heat transport in porphyrin-based single-molecule transistors with electro-burnt graphene electrodes

    PubMed Central

    Sangtarash, Sara

    2015-01-01

    Summary We have studied the charge and thermal transport properties of a porphyrin-based single-molecule transistor with electro-burnt graphene electrodes (EBG) using the nonequilibrium Green’s function method and density functional theory. The porphyrin-based molecule is bound to the EBG electrodes by planar aromatic anchor groups. Due to the efficient π–π overlap between the anchor groups and graphene and the location of frontier orbitals relative to the EBG Fermi energy, we predict HOMO-dominated transport. An on–off ratio as high as 150 is predicted for the device, which could be utilized with small gate voltages in the range of ±0.1 V. A positive thermopower of +280 μV/K is predicted for the device at the theoretical Fermi energy. The sign of the thermopower could be changed by tuning the Fermi energy. By gating the junction and changing the Fermi energy by +10 meV, this can be further enhanced to +475 μV/K. Although the electrodes and molecule are symmetric, the junction itself can be asymmetric due to different binding configurations at the electrodes. This can lead to rectification in the current–voltage characteristic of the junction. PMID:26199845

  10. Watching single molecules dance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mehta, Amit Dinesh

    Molecular motors convert chemical energy, from ATP hydrolysis or ion flow, into mechanical motion. A variety of increasingly precise mechanical probes have been developed to monitor and perturb these motors at the single molecule level. Several outstanding questions can be best approached at the single molecule level. These include: how far does a motor progress per energy quanta consumed? how does its reaction cycle respond to load? how many productive catalytic cycles can it undergo per diffusional encounter with its track? and what is the mechanical stiffness of a single molecule connection? A dual beam optical trap, in conjunction with in vitro ensemble motility assays, has been used to characterize two members of the myosin superfamily: muscle myosin II and chick brain myosin V. Both move the helical polymer actin, but myosin II acts in large ensembles to drive muscle contraction or cytokinesis, while myosin V acts in small numbers to transport vesicles. An optical trapping apparatus was rendered sufficiently precise to identify a myosin working stroke with 1nm or so, barring systematic errors such as those perhaps due to random protein orientations. This and other light microscopic motility assays were used to characterize myosin V: unlike myosin II this vesicle transport protein moves through many increments of travel while remaining strongly bound to a single actin filament. The step size, stall force, and travel distance of myosin V reveal a remarkably efficient motor capable of moving along a helical track for over a micrometer without significantly spiraling around it. Such properties are fully consistent with the putative role of an organelle transport motor, present in small numbers to maintain movement over long ranges relative to cellular size scales. The contrast between myosin II and myosin V resembles that between a human running on the moon and one walking on earth, where the former allows for faster motion when in larger ensembles but for less

  11. Single Molecule Manipulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kiang, Ching-Hwa

    2011-10-01

    Single-molecule manipulation studies open a door for a close-up investigation of complex biological interactions at the molecular level. In these studies, single biomolecules are pulled while their force response is being monitored. The process is often nonequilibrium, and interpretation of the results has been challenging. We used the atomic force microscope to pull proteins and DNA, and determined the equilibrium properties of the molecules using the recently derived nonequilibrium work theorem. I will present applications of the technique in areas ranging from fundamental biological problems such as DNA mechanics, to complex medical processes such as the mechanical activation of von Willebrand Factor, a key protein in blood coagulation.

  12. Resolving metal-molecule interfaces at single-molecule junctions

    PubMed Central

    Komoto, Yuki; Fujii, Shintaro; Nakamura, Hisao; Tada, Tomofumi; Nishino, Tomoaki; Kiguchi, Manabu

    2016-01-01

    Electronic and structural detail at the electrode-molecule interface have a significant influence on charge transport across molecular junctions. Despite the decisive role of the metal-molecule interface, a complete electronic and structural characterization of the interface remains a challenge. This is in no small part due to current experimental limitations. Here, we present a comprehensive approach to obtain a detailed description of the metal-molecule interface in single-molecule junctions, based on current-voltage (I-V) measurements. Contrary to conventional conductance studies, this I-V approach provides a correlated statistical description of both, the degree of electronic coupling across the metal-molecule interface, and the energy alignment between the conduction orbital and the Fermi level of the electrode. This exhaustive statistical approach was employed to study single-molecule junctions of 1,4-benzenediamine (BDA), 1,4-butanediamine (C4DA), and 1,4-benzenedithiol (BDT). A single interfacial configuration was observed for both BDA and C4DA junctions, while three different interfacial arrangements were resolved for BDT. This multiplicity is due to different molecular adsorption sites on the Au surface namely on-top, hollow, and bridge. Furthermore, C4DA junctions present a fluctuating I-V curve arising from the greater conformational freedom of the saturated alkyl chain, in sharp contrast with the rigid aromatic backbone of both BDA and BDT. PMID:27221947

  13. Single molecule sensing with carbon nanotube devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choi, Yongki; Sims, Patrick C.; Olsen, Tivoli J.; Iftikhar, Mariam; Corso, Brad L.; Gul, O. Tolga; Weiss, Gregory A.; Collins, Philip G.

    2013-09-01

    Nanoscale electronic devices like field-effect transistors have long promised to provide sensitive, label-free detection of biomolecules. In particular, single-walled carbon nanotubes have the requisite sensitivity to detect single molecule events and sufficient bandwidth to directly monitor single molecule dynamics in real time. Recent measurements have demonstrated this premise by monitoring the dynamic, single-molecule processivity of three different enzymes: lysozyme, protein Kinase A, and the Klenow fragment of DNA polymerase I. In each case, recordings resolved detailed trajectories of tens of thousands of individual chemical events and provided excellent statistics for single-molecule events. This electronic technique has a temporal resolution approaching 1 microsecond, which provides a new window for observing brief, intermediate transition states. In addition, the devices are indefinitely stable, so that the same molecule can be observed for minutes and hours. The extended recordings provide new insights into rare events like transitions to chemically-inactive conformations.

  14. Single-molecule electrophoresis

    SciTech Connect

    Castro, A.; Shera, E.B.

    1995-09-15

    A novel method for the detection and identification of single molecules in solution has been devised, computer simulated, and experimentally achieved. The technique involves the determination of electrophoretic velocities by measuring the time required for individual molecules to travel a fixed distance between two laser beams. Computer simulations of the process were performed before-hand in order to estimate the experimental feasibility of the method and to determine the optimum values for the various experimental parameters. Examples of the use of the technique for the ultrasensitive detection and identification of rhodamine-6G, a mixture of DNA restriction fragments, and a mixture of proteins in aqueous solution are presented. 20 refs., 8 figs.

  15. Electronic transport in biphenyl single-molecule junctions with carbon nanotubes electrodes: The role of molecular conformation and chirality

    SciTech Connect

    Brito Silva, C. A. Jr.; Granhen, E. R.; Silva, S. J. S. da; Leal, J. F. P.; Del Nero, J.; Pinheiro, F. A.

    2010-08-15

    We investigate, by means of ab initio calculations, electronic transport in molecular junctions composed of a biphenyl molecule attached to metallic carbon nanotubes. We find that the conductance is proportional to cos{sup 2} {theta}, with {theta} the angle between phenyl rings, when the Fermi level of the contacts lies within the frontier molecular orbitals energy gap. This result, which agrees with experiments in biphenyl junctions with nonorganic contacts, suggests that the cos{sup 2} {theta} law has a more general applicability, irrespective of the nature of the electrodes. We calculate the geometrical degree of chirality of the junction, which only depends on the atomic positions, and demonstrate that it is not only proportional to cos{sup 2} {theta} but also is strongly correlated with the current through the system. These results indicate that molecular conformation plays the preponderant role in determining transport properties of biphenyl-carbon nanotubes molecular junctions.

  16. Theory of plasmon enhanced interfacial electron transfer.

    PubMed

    Wang, Luxia; May, Volkhard

    2015-04-10

    A particular attempt to improve the efficiency of a dye sensitized solar cell is it's decoration with metal nano-particles (MNP). The MNP-plasmon induced enhancement of the local field enlarges the photoexcitation of the dyes and a subsequent improvement of the charge separation efficiency may result. In a recent work (2014 J. Phys. Chem. C 118 2812) we presented a theory of plasmon enhanced interfacial electron transfer for perylene attached to a TiO2 surface and placed in the proximity of a spherical MNP. These earlier studies are generalized here to the coupling of to up to four MNPs and to the use of somewhat altered molecular parameters. If the MNPs are placed close to each other strong hybridization of plasmon excitations appears and a broad resonance to which molecular excitations are coupled is formed. To investigate this situation the whole charge injection dynamics is described in the framework of the density matrix theory. The approach accounts for optical excitation of the dye coupled to the MNPs and considers subsequent electron injection into the rutile TiO2-cluster. Using a tight-binding model for the TiO2-system with about 10(5) atoms the electron motion in the cluster is described. We again consider short optical excitation which causes an intermediate steady state with a time-independent overall probability to have the electron injected into the cluster. This probability is used to introduce an enhancement factor which rates the influence of the MNP. Values larger than 500 are obtained. PMID:25764984

  17. Cyanide-bridged [Fe8M6] clusters displaying single-molecule magnetism (M=Ni) and electron-transfer-coupled spin transitions (M=Co).

    PubMed

    Mitsumoto, Kiyotaka; Oshiro, Emiko; Nishikawa, Hiroyuki; Shiga, Takuya; Yamamura, Yasuhisa; Saito, Kazuya; Oshio, Hiroki

    2011-08-22

    Cyanide-bridged metal complexes of [Fe(8)M(6)(μ-CN)(14)(CN)(10)(tp)(8)(HL)(10)(CH(3)CN)(2)][PF(6)](4)⋅n CH(3)CN⋅m H(2)O (HL=3-(2-pyridyl)-5-[4-(diphenylamino)phenyl]-1H-pyrazole), tp(-) =hydrotris(pyrazolylborate), 1: M=Ni with n=11 and m=7, and 2: M=Co with n=14 and m=5) were prepared. Complexes 1 and 2 are isomorphous, and crystallized in the monoclinic space group P2(1)/n. They have tetradecanuclear cores composed of eight low-spin (LS) Fe(III) and six high-spin (HS) M(II) ions (M=Ni and Co), all of which are bridged by cyanide ions, to form a crown-like core structure. Magnetic susceptibility measurements revealed that intramolecular ferro- and antiferromagnetic interactions are operative in 1 and in a fresh sample of 2, respectively. Ac magnetic susceptibility measurements of 1 showed frequency-dependent in- and out-of-phase signals, characteristic of single-molecule magnetism (SMM), while desolvated samples of 2 showed thermal- and photoinduced intramolecular electron-transfer-coupled spin transition (ETCST) between the [(LS-Fe(II))(3) (LS-Fe(III))(5)(HS-Co(II))(3)(LS-Co(III))(3)] and the [(LS-Fe(III))(8)(HS-Co(II))(6)] states. PMID:21830241

  18. Ultrafast dynamics of single molecules.

    PubMed

    Brinks, Daan; Hildner, Richard; van Dijk, Erik M H P; Stefani, Fernando D; Nieder, Jana B; Hernando, Jordi; van Hulst, Niek F

    2014-04-21

    The detection of individual molecules has found widespread application in molecular biology, photochemistry, polymer chemistry, quantum optics and super-resolution microscopy. Tracking of an individual molecule in time has allowed identifying discrete molecular photodynamic steps, action of molecular motors, protein folding, diffusion, etc. down to the picosecond level. However, methods to study the ultrafast electronic and vibrational molecular dynamics at the level of individual molecules have emerged only recently. In this review we present several examples of femtosecond single molecule spectroscopy. Starting with basic pump-probe spectroscopy in a confocal detection scheme, we move towards deterministic coherent control approaches using pulse shapers and ultra-broad band laser systems. We present the detection of both electronic and vibrational femtosecond dynamics of individual fluorophores at room temperature, showing electronic (de)coherence, vibrational wavepacket interference and quantum control. Finally, two colour phase shaping applied to photosynthetic light-harvesting complexes is presented, which allows investigation of the persistent coherence in photosynthetic complexes under physiological conditions at the level of individual complexes. PMID:24473271

  19. Fluorescence Microscopy of Single Molecules

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zimmermann, Jan; van Dorp, Arthur; Renn, Alois

    2004-01-01

    The investigation of photochemistry and photophysics of individual quantum systems is described with the help of a wide-field fluorescence microscopy approach. The fluorescence single molecules are observed in real time.

  20. Interfacial electronic effects control the reaction selectivity of platinum catalysts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Guangxu; Xu, Chaofa; Huang, Xiaoqing; Ye, Jinyu; Gu, Lin; Li, Gang; Tang, Zichao; Wu, Binghui; Yang, Huayan; Zhao, Zipeng; Zhou, Zhiyou; Fu, Gang; Zheng, Nanfeng

    2016-05-01

    Tuning the electronic structure of heterogeneous metal catalysts has emerged as an effective strategy to optimize their catalytic activities. By preparing ethylenediamine-coated ultrathin platinum nanowires as a model catalyst, here we demonstrate an interfacial electronic effect induced by simple organic modifications to control the selectivity of metal nanocatalysts during catalytic hydrogenation. This we apply to produce thermodynamically unfavourable but industrially important compounds, with ultrathin platinum nanowires exhibiting an unexpectedly high selectivity for the production of N-hydroxylanilines, through the partial hydrogenation of nitroaromatics. Mechanistic studies reveal that the electron donation from ethylenediamine makes the surface of platinum nanowires highly electron rich. During catalysis, such an interfacial electronic effect makes the catalytic surface favour the adsorption of electron-deficient reactants over electron-rich substrates (that is, N-hydroxylanilines), thus preventing full hydrogenation. More importantly, this interfacial electronic effect, achieved through simple organic modifications, may now be used for the optimization of commercial platinum catalysts.

  1. Photon and electron stimulated surface dynamics of single molecules. Final report on D.O.E. No. DE-FG0295ER14563

    SciTech Connect

    Harrison, Ian

    2001-05-01

    The initial goal of this work was to build up an entirely new low-temperature scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and ultrahigh vacuum system to examine the electron- and photon-induced chemistry of single molecules at low surface temperatures where thermal diffusion would be quenched. The photochemistry of methyl bromide on Pt(111) was first examined at 90 K using liquid nitrogen cooling. Br atoms were quite mobile even at 90 K, and were only visible by STM when coalesced along Pt step edges or in Br islands structures. The 193 nm photofragmentation of methyl bromide efficiently created monovacancies in the substrate at 90 K. It was found that at elevated temperatures there is considerable restructuring and reactive attack of the Pt surface by halogens, but for traditional, lower temperature studies of alkyl radicals prepared by thermal dissociative adsorption of alkyl iodides there is probably no problem with adsorbing I generating monovacancies on the surface. The dynamics of the ho t Br atoms formed by dissociative adsorption of Br{sub 2} was also examined. It was discovered that hot Br atoms from Br{sub 2} dissociative adsorption travel farther than hot O atoms from O{sub 2} dissociative adsorption; hot atom motion from different dissociative adsorption systems had not previously been compared for the same metal substrate. The experimental results strengthened the theoretical case that corrugation of the adsorbate/substrate potential is the key issue in determining hot atom travel. In addition, the data provided strong evidence for the transient existence of a weakly adsorbed and mobile Br{sub 2} precursor to dissociative adsorption. Some experiments imaging individual molecules at 15 K were also conducted.

  2. Structure and DNA-binding properties of the Bacillus subtilis SpoIIIE DNA translocase revealed by single-molecule and electron microscopies

    PubMed Central

    Cattoni, Diego I.; Thakur, Shreyasi; Godefroy, Cedric; Le Gall, Antoine; Lai-Kee-Him, Josephine; Milhiet, Pierre-Emmanuel; Bron, Patrick; Nöllmann, Marcelo

    2014-01-01

    SpoIIIE/FtsK are a family of ring-shaped, membrane-anchored, ATP-fuelled motors required to segregate DNA across bacterial membranes. This process is directional and requires that SpoIIIE/FtsK recognize highly skewed octameric sequences (SRS/KOPS for SpoIIIE/FtsK) distributed along the chromosome. Two models have been proposed to explain the mechanism by which SpoIIIE/FtsK interact with DNA. The loading model proposes that SpoIIIE/FtsK oligomerize exclusively on SpoIIIE recognition sequence/orienting polar sequences (SRS/KOPS) to accomplish directional DNA translocation, whereas the target search and activation mechanism proposes that pre-assembled SpoIIIE/FtsK hexamers bind to non-specific DNA, reach SRS/KOPS by diffusion/3d hopping and activate at SRS/KOPS. Here, we employ single-molecule total internal reflection imaging, atomic force and electron microscopies and ensemble biochemical methods to test these predictions and obtain further insight into the SpoIIIE–DNA mechanism of interaction. First, we find that SpoIIIE binds DNA as a homo-hexamer with neither ATP binding nor hydrolysis affecting the binding mechanism or affinity. Second, we show that hexameric SpoIIIE directly binds to double-stranded DNA without requiring the presence of SRS or free DNA ends. Finally, we find that SpoIIIE hexamers can show open and closed conformations in solution, with open-ring conformations most likely resembling a state poised to load to non-specific, double-stranded DNA. These results suggest how SpoIIIE and related ring-shaped motors may be split open to bind topologically closed DNA. PMID:24297254

  3. Electrical, Mechanical and Thermal Properties of Single Molecules

    SciTech Connect

    Tao, Nongjian

    2014-08-20

    The specific aims of the prior DOE grant are to determine the stability of a single molecule bound to two electrodes, study local heating in single molecule junctions due to electron-phonon and electron-electron interactions, measure electron-phonon interactions in single molecule wires; and explore piezoelectric properties of single molecules. We have completed all the major tasks, and also expanded naturally the scope of the project to address several other critical issues in single molecule properties, developed new experimental capabilities, and observed a number of unexpected phenomena. We summarized here some of the findings that are most relevant to the present renewal proposal. More details can be found in the publications resulted from this grant and annual progress reports.

  4. Molecular spintronics using single-molecule magnets.

    PubMed

    Bogani, Lapo; Wernsdorfer, Wolfgang

    2008-03-01

    A revolution in electronics is in view, with the contemporary evolution of the two novel disciplines of spintronics and molecular electronics. A fundamental link between these two fields can be established using molecular magnetic materials and, in particular, single-molecule magnets. Here, we review the first progress in the resulting field, molecular spintronics, which will enable the manipulation of spin and charges in electronic devices containing one or more molecules. We discuss the advantages over more conventional materials, and the potential applications in information storage and processing. We also outline current challenges in the field, and propose convenient schemes to overcome them.

  5. The symmetry of single-molecule conduction.

    PubMed

    Solomon, Gemma C; Gagliardi, Alessio; Pecchia, Alessandro; Frauenheim, Thomas; Di Carlo, Aldo; Reimers, Jeffrey R; Hush, Noel S

    2006-11-14

    We introduce the conductance point group which defines the symmetry of single-molecule conduction within the nonequilibrium Green's function formalism. It is shown, either rigorously or to within a very good approximation, to correspond to a molecular-conductance point group defined purely in terms of the properties of the conducting molecule. This enables single-molecule conductivity to be described in terms of key qualitative chemical descriptors that are independent of the nature of the molecule-conductor interfaces. We apply this to demonstrate how symmetry controls the conduction through 1,4-benzenedithiol chemisorbed to gold electrodes as an example system, listing also the molecular-conductance point groups for a range of molecules commonly used in molecular electronics research.

  6. Correlated Single Quantum Dot Blinking and Interfacial Electron Transfer Dynamics.

    PubMed

    Jin, Shengye; Hsiang, Jung-Cheng; Zhu, Haiming; Song, Nianhui; Dickson, Robert M; Lian, Tianquan

    2010-08-31

    The electron transfer (ET) dynamics from core/multi-shell (CdSe/CdS(3ML)ZnCdS(2ML)ZnS(2ML)) quantum dots (QDs) to adsorbed Fluorescein (F27) molecules have been studied by single particle spectroscopy to probe the relationship between single QD interfacial electron transfer and blinking dynamics. Electron transfer from the QD to F27 and the subsequent recombination were directly observed by ensemble-averaged transient absorption spectroscopy. Single QD-F27 complexes show correlated fluctuation of fluorescence intensity and lifetime, similar to those observed in free QDs. With increasing ET rate (controlled by F27-to-QD ratio), the lifetime of on states decreases and relative contribution of off states increases. It was shown that ET is active for QDs in on states, the excited state lifetime of which reflects the ET rate, whereas in the off state QD excitons decay by Auger relaxation and ET is not a competitive quenching pathway. Thus, the blinking dynamics of single QDs modulate their interfacial ET activity. Furthermore, interfacial ET provides an additional pathway for generating off states, leading to correlated single QD interfacial ET and blinking dynamics in QD-acceptor complexes. Because blinking is a general phenomenon of single QDs, it appears that the correlated interfacial ET and blinking and the resulting intermittent ET activity are general phenomena for single QDs.

  7. Recording Single Molecule Dynamics and Function using Carbon Nanotube Circuits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choi, Yongki; Sims, Patrick; Moody, Issa; Olsen, Tivoli; Corso, Brad L.; Tolga Gul, O.; Weiss, Gregory A.; Collins, Philip G.

    2013-03-01

    Nanoscale electronic devices like field-effect transistors (FETs) have long promised to provide sensitive, label-free detection of biomolecules. In particular, single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) have the requisite sensitivity to detect single molecule events, and have sufficient bandwidth to directly monitor single molecule dynamics in real time. Recent measurements have demonstrated this premise by monitoring the dynamic, single-molecule processivity of three different enzymes: lysozyme, protein Kinase A, and the Klenow fragment of polymerase I. Initial successes in each case indicate the generality and attractiveness of SWNT FETs as a new tool to complement other single molecule techniques. Furthermore, our focused research on transduction mechanisms provides the design rules necessary to further generalize this SWNT FET technique. This presentation will summarize these rules, and demonstrate how the purposeful incorporation of just one amino acid is sufficient to fabricate effective, single molecule nanocircuits from a wide range of enzymes or proteins.

  8. Single Molecule Conductance of Oligothiophene Derivatives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dell, Emma J.

    This thesis studies the electronic properties of small organic molecules based on the thiophene motif. If we are to build next-generation devices, advanced materials must be designed which possess requisite electronic functionality. Molecules present attractive candidates for these ad- vanced materials since nanoscale devices are particularly sought after. However, selecting a molecule that is suited to a certain electronic function remains a challenge, and characterization of electronic behavior is therefore critical. Single molecule conductance measurements are a powerful tool to determine properties on the nanoscale and, as such, can be used to investigate novel building blocks that may fulfill the design requirements of next-generation devices. Combining these conductance results with strategic chemical synthesis allows for the development of new families of molecules that show attractive properties for future electronic devices. Since thiophene rings are the fruitflies of organic semiconductors on the bulk scale, they present an intriguing starting point for building functional materials on the nanoscale, and therefore form the structural basis of all molecules studied herein. First, the single-molecule conductance of a family of bithiophene derivatives was measured. A broad distribution in the single-molecule conductance of bithiophene was found compared with that of a biphenyl. This increased breadth in the conductance distribution was shown to be explained by the difference in 5-fold symmetry of thiophene rings as compared to the 6-fold symmetry of benzene rings. The reduced symmetry of thiophene rings results in a restriction on the torsion angle space available to these molecules when bound between two metal electrodes in a junction, causing each molecular junction to sample a different set of conformers in the conductance measurements. By contrast, the rotations of biphenyl are essentially unimpeded by junction binding, allowing each molecular junction

  9. Room temperature single molecule microscopes

    SciTech Connect

    Ambrose, W.P.; Goodwin, P.M.; Enderlein, G.; Semin, D.J.; Keller, R.A.

    1997-12-31

    We have developed three capabilities to image the locations of and interrogate immobilized single fluorescent molecules: near-field scanning optical, confocal scanning optical, and wide-field epi-fluorescence microscopy. Each microscopy has its own advantages. Near-field illumination can beat the diffraction limit. Confocal microscopy has high brightness and temporal resolution. Wide-field has the quickest (parallel) imaging capability. With confocal microscopy, we have verified that single fluorescent spots in our images are due to single molecules by observing photon antibunching. Using all three microscopies, we have observed that xanthene molecules dispersed on dry silica curiously exhibit intensity fluctuations on millisecond to minute time scales. We are exploring the connection between the intensity fluctuations and fluctuations in individual photophysical parameters. The fluorescence lifetimes of Rhodamine 6G on silica fluctuate. The complex nature of the intensity and lifetime fluctuations is consistent with a mechanism that perturbs more than one photophysical parameter.

  10. Cobalt single-molecule magnet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, En-Che; Hendrickson, David N.; Wernsdorfer, Wolfgang; Nakano, Motohiro; Zakharov, Lev N.; Sommer, Roger D.; Rheingold, Arnold L.; Ledezma-Gairaud, Marisol; Christou, George

    2002-05-01

    A cobalt molecule that functions as a single-molecule magnet, [Co4(hmp)4(MeOH)4Cl4], where hmp- is the anion of hydroxymethylpyridine, is reported. The core of the molecule consists of four Co(II) cations and four hmp- oxygen atom ions at the corners of a cube. Variable-field and variable-temperature magnetization data have been analyzed to establish that the molecule has a S=6 ground state with considerable negative magnetoanisotropy. Single-ion zero-field interactions (DSz2) at each cobalt ion are the origin of the negative magnetoanisotropy. A single crystal of the compound was studied by means of a micro-superconducting quantum interference device magnetometer in the range of 0.040-1.0 K. Hysteresis was found in the magnetization versus magnetic field response of this single crystal.

  11. Impact of Anchoring Groups on Ballistic Transport: Single Molecule vs Monolayer Junctions

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Tuning the transport properties of molecular junctions by chemically modifying the molecular structure is one of the key challenges for advancing the field of molecular electronics. In the present contribution, we investigate current–voltage characteristics of differently linked metal–molecule–metal systems that comprise either a single molecule or a molecular assembly. This is achieved by employing density functional theory in conjunction with a Green’s function approach. We show that the conductance of a molecular system with a specific anchoring group is fundamentally different depending on whether a single molecule or a continuous monolayer forms the junction. This is a consequence of collective electrostatic effects that arise from dipolar elements contained in the monolayer and from interfacial charge rearrangements. As a consequence of these collective effects, the “ideal” choice for an anchoring group is clearly different for monolayer and single molecule devices. A particularly striking effect is observed for pyridine-docked systems. These are subject to Fermi-level pinning at high molecular packing densities, causing an abrupt increase of the junction current already at small voltages. PMID:26401191

  12. Single-molecule imaging by optical absorption

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Celebrano, Michele; Kukura, Philipp; Renn, Alois; Sandoghdar, Vahid

    2011-02-01

    To date, optical studies of single molecules at room temperature have relied on the use of materials with high fluorescence quantum yield combined with efficient spectral rejection of background light. To extend single-molecule studies to a much larger pallet of substances that absorb but do not fluoresce, scientists have explored the photothermal effect, interferometry, direct attenuation and stimulated emission. Indeed, very recently, three groups have succeeded in achieving single-molecule sensitivity in absorption. Here, we apply modulation-free transmission measurements known from absorption spectrometers to image single molecules under ambient conditions both in the emissive and strongly quenched states. We arrive at quantitative values for the absorption cross-section of single molecules at different wavelengths and thereby set the ground for single-molecule absorption spectroscopy. Our work has important implications for research ranging from absorption and infrared spectroscopy to sensing of unlabelled proteins at the single-molecule level.

  13. Single-molecule mechanics of mussel adhesion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Haeshin; Scherer, Norbert F.; Messersmith, Phillip B.

    2006-08-01

    The glue proteins secreted by marine mussels bind strongly to virtually all inorganic and organic surfaces in aqueous environments in which most adhesives function poorly. Studies of these functionally unique proteins have revealed the presence of the unusual amino acid 3,4-dihydroxy-L-phenylalanine (dopa), which is formed by posttranslational modification of tyrosine. However, the detailed binding mechanisms of dopa remain unknown, and the chemical basis for mussels' ability to adhere to both inorganic and organic surfaces has never been fully explained. Herein, we report a single-molecule study of the substrate and oxidation-dependent adhesive properties of dopa. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) measurements of a single dopa residue contacting a wet metal oxide surface reveal a surprisingly high strength yet fully reversible, noncovalent interaction. The magnitude of the bond dissociation energy as well as the inability to observe this interaction with tyrosine suggests that dopa is critical to adhesion and that the binding mechanism is not hydrogen bond formation. Oxidation of dopa, as occurs during curing of the secreted mussel glue, dramatically reduces the strength of the interaction to metal oxide but results in high strength irreversible covalent bond formation to an organic surface. A new picture of the interfacial adhesive role of dopa emerges from these studies, in which dopa exploits a remarkable combination of high strength and chemical multifunctionality to accomplish adhesion to substrates of widely varying composition from organic to metallic. 3,4-dihydroxylphenylalanine | atomic force microscopy | mussel adhesive protein

  14. Single Molecule Conductance of Oligothiophene Derivatives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dell, Emma J.

    This thesis studies the electronic properties of small organic molecules based on the thiophene motif. If we are to build next-generation devices, advanced materials must be designed which possess requisite electronic functionality. Molecules present attractive candidates for these ad- vanced materials since nanoscale devices are particularly sought after. However, selecting a molecule that is suited to a certain electronic function remains a challenge, and characterization of electronic behavior is therefore critical. Single molecule conductance measurements are a powerful tool to determine properties on the nanoscale and, as such, can be used to investigate novel building blocks that may fulfill the design requirements of next-generation devices. Combining these conductance results with strategic chemical synthesis allows for the development of new families of molecules that show attractive properties for future electronic devices. Since thiophene rings are the fruitflies of organic semiconductors on the bulk scale, they present an intriguing starting point for building functional materials on the nanoscale, and therefore form the structural basis of all molecules studied herein. First, the single-molecule conductance of a family of bithiophene derivatives was measured. A broad distribution in the single-molecule conductance of bithiophene was found compared with that of a biphenyl. This increased breadth in the conductance distribution was shown to be explained by the difference in 5-fold symmetry of thiophene rings as compared to the 6-fold symmetry of benzene rings. The reduced symmetry of thiophene rings results in a restriction on the torsion angle space available to these molecules when bound between two metal electrodes in a junction, causing each molecular junction to sample a different set of conformers in the conductance measurements. By contrast, the rotations of biphenyl are essentially unimpeded by junction binding, allowing each molecular junction

  15. Quantum Oscillations in an Interfacial 2D Electron Gas.

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, Bingop; Lu, Ping; Liu, Henan; Lin, Jiao; Ye, Zhenyu; Jaime, Marcelo; Balakirev, Fedor F.; Yuan, Huiqiu; Wu, Huizhen; Pan, Wei; Zhang, Yong

    2016-01-01

    Recently, it has been predicted that topological crystalline insulators (TCIs) may exist in SnTe and Pb1-xSnxTe thin films [1]. To date, most studies on TCIs were carried out either in bulk crystals or thin films, and no research activity has been explored in heterostructures. We present here the results on electronic transport properties of the 2D electron gas (2DEG) realized at the interfaces of PbTe/ CdTe (111) heterostructures. Evidence of topological state in this interfacial 2DEG was observed.

  16. Single Molecule Studies of Chromatin

    SciTech Connect

    Jeans, C; Thelen, M P; Noy, A

    2006-02-06

    In eukaryotic cells, DNA is packaged as chromatin, a highly ordered structure formed through the wrapping of the DNA around histone proteins, and further packed through interactions with a number of other proteins. In order for processes such as DNA replication, DNA repair, and transcription to occur, the structure of chromatin must be remodeled such that the necessary enzymes can access the DNA. A number of remodeling enzymes have been described, but our understanding of the remodeling process is hindered by a lack of knowledge of the fine structure of chromatin, and how this structure is modulated in the living cell. We have carried out single molecule experiments using atomic force microscopy (AFM) to study the packaging arrangements in chromatin from a variety of cell types. Comparison of the structures observed reveals differences which can be explained in terms of the cell type and its transcriptional activity. During the course of this project, sample preparation and AFM techniques were developed and optimized. Several opportunities for follow-up work are outlined which could provide further insight into the dynamic structural rearrangements of chromatin.

  17. Electron-induced damage of biotin studied in the gas phase and in the condensed phase at a single-molecule level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keller, Adrian; Kopyra, Janina; Gothelf, Kurt V.; Bald, Ilko

    2013-08-01

    Biotin is an essential vitamin that is, on the one hand, relevant for the metabolism, gene expression and in the cellular response to DNA damage and, on the other hand, finds numerous applications in biotechnology. The functionality of biotin is due to two particular sub-structures, the ring structure and the side chain with carboxyl group. The heterocyclic ring structure results in the capability of biotin to form strong intermolecular hydrogen and van der Waals bonds with proteins such as streptavidin, whereas the carboxyl group can be employed to covalently bind biotin to other complex molecules. Dissociative electron attachment (DEA) to biotin results in a decomposition of the ring structure and the carboxyl group, respectively, within resonant features in the energy range 0-12 eV, thereby preventing the capability of biotin for intermolecular binding and covalent coupling to other molecules. Specifically, the fragment anions (M-H)-, (M-O)-, C3N2O-, CH2O2-, OCN-, CN-, OH- and O- are observed, and exemplarily the DEA cross section of OCN- formation is determined to be 3 × 10-19 cm2. To study the response of biotin to electrons within a complex condensed environment, we use the DNA origami technique and determine a dissociation yield of (1.1 ± 0.2) × 10-14 cm2 at 18 eV electron energy, which represents the most relevant energy for biomolecular damage induced by secondary electrons. The present results thus have important implications for the use of biotin as a label in radiation experiments.

  18. Ligand π-radical interaction with f-shell unpaired electrons in phthalocyaninato-lanthanoid single-molecule magnets: a solution NMR spectroscopic and DFT study.

    PubMed

    Damjanović, Marko; Morita, Takaumi; Katoh, Keiichi; Yamashita, Masahiro; Enders, Markus

    2015-10-01

    The phthalocyaninato double-decker complexes [M(obPc)2 ](0) (M= Y(III) , Tb(III) , Dy(III) ; obPc=2,3,9,10,16,17,23,24-octabutoxyphthalocyaninato), along with their reduced ([M(obPc)2 ](-) [P(Ph)4 ](+) ; M=Tb(III) , Dy(III) ) and oxidized ([M(obPc)2 ](+) [SbCl6 ](-) (M=Y(III) , Tb(III) ) counterparts were studied with (1) H, (13) C and 2D NMR. From the NMR data of the neutral (i.e., with one unpaired electron in the ligands) and anionic Tb(III) complexes, along with the use of dispersion corrected DFT methods, it was possible to separate the metal-centered and ligand-centered contributions to the hyperfine NMR shift. These contributions to the (1) H and (13) C hyperfine NMR shifts were further analyzed in terms of pseudocontact and Fermi contact shifts. Furthermore, from a combination of NMR data and DFT calculations, we have determined the spin multiplicity of the neutral complexes [M(obPc)2 ](0) (M=Tb(III) and Dy(III) ) at room temperature. From the NMR data of the cationic Tb(III) complex, for which actually no experimental structure determination is available, we have analyzed the structural changes induced by oxidation from its neutral/anionic species and shown that the interligand distance decreases upon oxidation. The fast electron exchange process between the neutral and anionic Tb(III) double-decker complexes was also studied.

  19. Temperature dependence of charge transport in conjugated single molecule junctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huisman, Eek; Kamenetska, Masha; Venkataraman, Latha

    2011-03-01

    Over the last decade, the break junction technique using a scanning tunneling microscope geometry has proven to be an important tool to understand electron transport through single molecule junctions. Here, we use this technique to probe transport through junctions at temperatures ranging from 5K to 300K. We study three amine-terminated (-NH2) conjugated molecules: a benzene, a biphenyl and a terphenyl derivative. We find that amine groups bind selectively to undercoordinate gold atoms gold all the way down to 5K, yielding single molecule junctions with well-defined conductances. Furthermore, we find that the conductance of a single molecule junction increases with temperature and we present a mechanism for this temperature dependent transport result. Funded by a Rubicon Grant from The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and the NSEC program of NSF under grant # CHE-0641523.

  20. Investigations on interfacial dynamics with ultrafast electron diffraction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murdick, Ryan A.

    An ultrafast electron diffractive voltammetry (UEDV) technique is introduced, extended from ultrafast electron diffraction, to investigate the ultrafast charge transport dynamics at interfaces and in nanostructures. Rooted in Coulomb-induced refraction, formalisms are presented to quantitatively deduce the transient surface voltages (TSVs), caused by photoinduced charge redistributions at interfaces, and are applied to examine a prototypical Si/SiO2 interface, known to be susceptible to photoinduced interfacial charging The ultrafast time resolution and high sensitivity to surface charges of this electron diffractive approach allows direct elucidation of the transient effects of photoinduced hot electron transport at nanometer (˜2 nm) interfaces. Two distinctive regimes are uncovered, characterized by the time scales associated with charge separation. At the low fluence regime, the charge transfer is described by a thermally-mediated process with linear dependence on the excitation fluence. Theoretical analysis of the transient thermal properties of the carriers show that it is well-described by a direct tunneling of the laser heated electrons through the dielectric oxide layer to surface states. At higher fluences, a coherent multiphoton absorption process is invoked to directly inject electrons into the conduction band of SiO2, leading to a more efficient surface charge accumulation. A quadratic fluence dependence on this coherent, 3-photon lead electron injection is characterized by the rapid dephasing of the intermediately generated hot electrons from 2-photon absorption, limiting the yield of the consecutive 1-photon absorption by free carriers. The TSV formalism is extended beyond the simple slab geometry associated with planar surfaces (Si/SiO2), to interfaces with arbitrary geometrical features, by imposing a corrective scheme to the slab model. The validity of this treatment is demonstrated in an investigation of the charge transfer dynamics at a metal

  1. Pair Tunneling through Single Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raikh, Mikhail

    2007-03-01

    Coupling to molecular vibrations induces a polaronic shift, and can lead to a negative charging energy, U. For negative U, the occupation of the ground state of the molecule is even. In this situation, virtual pair transitions between the molecule and the leads can dominate electron transport. At low temperature, T, these transitions give rise to the charge-Kondo effect [1]. We developed the electron transport theory through the negative-U molecule [2] at relatively high T, when the Kondo correlations are suppressed. Two physical ingredients distinguish our theory from the transport through a superconducting grain coupled to the normal leads [3]: (i) in parallel with sequential pair-tunneling processes, single-particle cotunneling processes take place; (ii) the electron pair on the molecule can be created (or annihilated) by two electrons tunneling in from (or out to) opposite leads. We found that, even within the rate-equation description, the behavior of differential conductance through the negative-U molecule as function of the gate voltage is quite peculiar: the height of the peak near the degeneracy point is independent of temperature, while its width is proportional to T. This is in contrast to the ordinary Coulomb-blockade conductance peak, whose integral strength is T-independent. At finite source-drain bias, V>>T, the width of the conductance peak is ˜V, whereas the conventional Coulomb-blockade peak at finite V splits into two sharp peaks at detunings V/2, and -V/2. Possible applications to the gate-controlled current rectification and switching will be discussed. [1] A. Taraphder and P. Coleman, Phys. Rev. Lett. 66, 2814 (1991). [2] J. Koch, M. E. Raikh, and F. von Oppen, Phys. Rev. Lett. 96, 056803 (2006). [3] F. W. J. Hekking, L. I. Glazman, K. A. Matveev, and R. I. Shekhter, Phys. Rev. Lett. 70, 4138 (1993).

  2. Broadband single-molecule excitation spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Piatkowski, Lukasz; Gellings, Esther; van Hulst, Niek F.

    2016-01-01

    Over the past 25 years, single-molecule spectroscopy has developed into a widely used tool in multiple disciplines of science. The diversity of routinely recorded emission spectra does underpin the strength of the single-molecule approach in resolving the heterogeneity and dynamics, otherwise hidden in the ensemble. In early cryogenic studies single molecules were identified by their distinct excitation spectra, yet measuring excitation spectra at room temperature remains challenging. Here we present a broadband Fourier approach that allows rapid recording of excitation spectra of individual molecules under ambient conditions and that is robust against blinking and bleaching. Applying the method we show that the excitation spectra of individual molecules exhibit an extreme distribution of solvatochromic shifts and distinct spectral shapes. Importantly, we demonstrate that the sensitivity and speed of the broadband technique is comparable to that of emission spectroscopy putting both techniques side-by-side in single-molecule spectroscopy. PMID:26794035

  3. Broadband single-molecule excitation spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piatkowski, Lukasz; Gellings, Esther; van Hulst, Niek F.

    2016-01-01

    Over the past 25 years, single-molecule spectroscopy has developed into a widely used tool in multiple disciplines of science. The diversity of routinely recorded emission spectra does underpin the strength of the single-molecule approach in resolving the heterogeneity and dynamics, otherwise hidden in the ensemble. In early cryogenic studies single molecules were identified by their distinct excitation spectra, yet measuring excitation spectra at room temperature remains challenging. Here we present a broadband Fourier approach that allows rapid recording of excitation spectra of individual molecules under ambient conditions and that is robust against blinking and bleaching. Applying the method we show that the excitation spectra of individual molecules exhibit an extreme distribution of solvatochromic shifts and distinct spectral shapes. Importantly, we demonstrate that the sensitivity and speed of the broadband technique is comparable to that of emission spectroscopy putting both techniques side-by-side in single-molecule spectroscopy.

  4. Stretched polyethylene films probed by single molecules.

    PubMed

    Wirtz, Alexander C; Hofmann, Clemens; Groenen, Edgar J J

    2011-06-01

    Stretched films of low-density polyethylene (LDPE) doped with 2.3,8.9-dibenzanthanthrene (DBATT) were studied using polarization-selective single-molecule spectroscopy at 1.8 K. By measuring the in-plane component of the electronic transition-dipole moments of individual chromophores, the alignment of dopant molecules is determined without averaging. The distributions of chromophore orientations reveal the presence of two fractions of dopant molecules: those oriented along the stretching direction and randomly oriented molecules. With increasing drawing ratio of the polyethylene films, the ratio of oriented to randomly oriented guest molecules increases, whereas the extent of chromophore orientation, that is, the width of the orientation distribution, remains the same. The results are consistent with the interpretation that oriented chromophores reside on the surfaces of polyethylene crystals, instead of in the amorphous polyethylene regions. Guest molecules in stretched polyethylene are oriented due to the alignment of the crystallites on which they are adsorbed. As such, the shape and width of the distributions of chromophore orientations are determined by the interaction of guest molecules with the crystal surfaces.

  5. Giant single-molecule anisotropic magnetoresistance at room temperature.

    PubMed

    Li, Ji-Jun; Bai, Mei-Lin; Chen, Zhao-Bin; Zhou, Xiao-Shun; Shi, Zhan; Zhang, Meng; Ding, Song-Yuan; Hou, Shi-Min; Schwarzacher, Walther; Nichols, Richard J; Mao, Bing-Wei

    2015-05-13

    We report an electrochemically assisted jump-to-contact scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) break junction approach to create reproducible and well-defined single-molecule spintronic junctions. The STM break junction is equipped with an external magnetic field either parallel or perpendicular to the electron transport direction. The conductance of Fe-terephthalic acid (TPA)-Fe single-molecule junctions is measured and a giant single-molecule tunneling anisotropic magnetoresistance (T-AMR) up to 53% is observed at room temperature. Theoretical calculations based on first-principles quantum simulations show that the observed AMR of Fe-TPA-Fe junctions originates from electronic coupling at the TPA-Fe interfaces modified by the magnetic orientation of the Fe electrodes with respect to the direction of current flow. The present study highlights new opportunities for obtaining detailed understanding of mechanisms of charge and spin transport in molecular junctions and the role of interfaces in determining the MR of single-molecule junctions. PMID:25894840

  6. Origin of discrete current fluctuations in a single molecule junction.

    PubMed

    Xiang, Dong; Lee, Takhee; Kim, Youngsang; Mei, Tingting; Wang, Qingling

    2014-11-21

    A series of fresh molecular junctions at a single molecule level were created and the current fluctuations were studied as electrons passed through them. Our results indicate that telegraph-like current fluctuations at room temperature neither originate from electron trapping/detrapping processes nor from molecule re-conformation. Our results will be helpful in better understanding the mechanism of current fluctuations. PMID:25271483

  7. Optical interfacing single molecules with atomic vapor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siyushev, Petr; Stein, Guilherme; Wrachtrup, Jörg; Gerhardt, Ilja

    2013-05-01

    Organic molecules at liquid Helium temperatures can constitute high-brightness and narrow-band single photon sources. Thus, they might form an important building block for quantum information processing. A number of quantum optical experiments were conducted with single photon sources based on single molecules. It was shown that it is possible to spectrally detune the molecules, and optical interaction between several molecules could be shown. Another important ingredient for quantum information processing is the implementation of quantum memory. Atomic vapors do not only allow for slowing down light, but also for its storage and can be used as an efficient quantum memory. In the past it was impossible to utilize the high brightness of single molecules in combination with an efficient quantum memory, since the lack of spectral overlap. Here, we present spectral tuning of a single molecule to match the resonance of the sodium D-line. We reach up to 6 ×105 detected 30 MHz narrow-band single photons per second. We are able to slow down near-resonant photons from a single molecule, and simultaneous show its single photon properties. We are further able to explore the properties of atomic vapor for its use as a narrow-band filter for single molecule studies.

  8. Single-Molecule Studies in Live Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Ji

    2016-05-01

    Live-cell single-molecule experiments are now widely used to study complex biological processes such as signal transduction, self-assembly, active trafficking, and gene regulation. These experiments' increased popularity results in part from rapid methodological developments that have significantly lowered the technical barriers to performing them. Another important advance is the development of novel statistical algorithms, which, by modeling the stochastic behaviors of single molecules, can be used to extract systemic parameters describing the in vivo biochemistry or super-resolution localization of biological molecules within their physiological environment. This review discusses recent advances in experimental and computational strategies for live-cell single-molecule studies, as well as a selected subset of biological studies that have utilized these new technologies.

  9. Single molecule nanometry for biological physics

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Hajin; Ha, Taekjip

    2013-01-01

    Precision measurement is a hallmark of physics but the small length scale (~ nanometer) of elementary biological components and thermal fluctuations surrounding them challenge our ability to visualize their action. Here, we highlight the recent developments in single molecule nanometry where the position of a single fluorescent molecule can be determined with nanometer precision, reaching the limit imposed by the shot noise, and the relative motion between two molecules can be determined with ~ 0.3 nm precision at ~ 1 millisecond time resolution, and how these new tools are providing fundamental insights on how motor proteins move on cellular highways. We will also discuss how interactions between three and four fluorescent molecules can be used to measure three and six coordinates, respectively, allowing us to correlate movements of multiple components. Finally, we will discuss recent progress in combining angstrom precision optical tweezers with single molecule fluorescent detection, opening new windows for multi-dimensional single molecule nanometry for biological physics. PMID:23249673

  10. Life at the Single Molecule Level

    SciTech Connect

    Xie, Xiaoliang Sunny

    2011-03-04

    In a living cell, gene expression—the transcription of DNA to messenger RNA followed by translation to protein—occurs stochastically, as a consequence of the low copy number of DNA and mRNA molecules involved. Can one monitor these processes in a living cell in real time? How do cells with identical genes exhibit different phenotypes? Recent advances in single-molecule imaging in living bacterial cells allow these questions to be answered at the molecular level in a quantitative manner. It was found that rare events of single molecules can have important biological consequences.

  11. Controlling single-molecule junction conductance by molecular interactions

    PubMed Central

    Kitaguchi, Y.; Habuka, S.; Okuyama, H.; Hatta, S.; Aruga, T.; Frederiksen, T.; Paulsson, M.; Ueba, H.

    2015-01-01

    For the rational design of single-molecular electronic devices, it is essential to understand environmental effects on the electronic properties of a working molecule. Here we investigate the impact of molecular interactions on the single-molecule conductance by accurately positioning individual molecules on the electrode. To achieve reproducible and precise conductivity measurements, we utilize relatively weak π-bonding between a phenoxy molecule and a STM-tip to form and cleave one contact to the molecule. The anchoring to the other electrode is kept stable using a chalcogen atom with strong bonding to a Cu(110) substrate. These non-destructive measurements permit us to investigate the variation in single-molecule conductance under different but controlled environmental conditions. Combined with density functional theory calculations, we clarify the role of the electrostatic field in the environmental effect that influences the molecular level alignment. PMID:26135251

  12. Controlling single-molecule junction conductance by molecular interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kitaguchi, Y.; Habuka, S.; Okuyama, H.; Hatta, S.; Aruga, T.; Frederiksen, T.; Paulsson, M.; Ueba, H.

    2015-07-01

    For the rational design of single-molecular electronic devices, it is essential to understand environmental effects on the electronic properties of a working molecule. Here we investigate the impact of molecular interactions on the single-molecule conductance by accurately positioning individual molecules on the electrode. To achieve reproducible and precise conductivity measurements, we utilize relatively weak π-bonding between a phenoxy molecule and a STM-tip to form and cleave one contact to the molecule. The anchoring to the other electrode is kept stable using a chalcogen atom with strong bonding to a Cu(110) substrate. These non-destructive measurements permit us to investigate the variation in single-molecule conductance under different but controlled environmental conditions. Combined with density functional theory calculations, we clarify the role of the electrostatic field in the environmental effect that influences the molecular level alignment.

  13. Density Functional Theory with Dissipation: Transport through Single Molecules

    SciTech Connect

    Kieron Burke

    2012-04-30

    A huge amount of fundamental research was performed on this grant. Most of it focussed on fundamental issues of electronic structure calculations of transport through single molecules, using density functional theory. Achievements were: (1) First density functional theory with dissipation; (2) Pseudopotential plane wave calculations with master equation; (3) Weak bias limit; (4) Long-chain conductance; and (5) Self-interaction effects in tunneling.

  14. A gate-tunable single-molecule diode

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perrin, Mickael L.; Galán, Elena; Eelkema, Rienk; Thijssen, Joseph M.; Grozema, Ferdinand; van der Zant, Herre S. J.

    2016-04-01

    In the pursuit of down-sizing electronic components, the ultimate limit is the use of single molecules as functional devices. The first theoretical proposal of such a device, predicted more than four decades ago, is the seminal Aviram-Ratner rectifier that exploits the orbital structure of the molecule. The experimental realization of single-molecule rectifiers, however, has proven to be challenging. In this work, we report on the experimental realization of a gate-tunable single-molecule rectifier with rectification ratios as high as 600. The rectification mechanism arises from the molecular structure and relies on the presence of two conjugated sites that are weakly coupled through a saturated linker. The observed gate dependence not only demonstrates tunability of the rectification ratio, it also shows that the proposed rectification mechanism based on the orbital structure is operative in the molecule.In the pursuit of down-sizing electronic components, the ultimate limit is the use of single molecules as functional devices. The first theoretical proposal of such a device, predicted more than four decades ago, is the seminal Aviram-Ratner rectifier that exploits the orbital structure of the molecule. The experimental realization of single-molecule rectifiers, however, has proven to be challenging. In this work, we report on the experimental realization of a gate-tunable single-molecule rectifier with rectification ratios as high as 600. The rectification mechanism arises from the molecular structure and relies on the presence of two conjugated sites that are weakly coupled through a saturated linker. The observed gate dependence not only demonstrates tunability of the rectification ratio, it also shows that the proposed rectification mechanism based on the orbital structure is operative in the molecule. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available: DFT calculations on the DPE molecule, three-terminal measurements on the DPE molecule, additional analysis

  15. Relating single-molecule measurements to thermodynamics.

    PubMed

    Keller, David; Swigon, David; Bustamante, Carlos

    2003-02-01

    Measurements made on large ensembles of molecules are routinely interpreted using thermodynamics, but the normal rules of thermodynamics may not apply to measurements made on single molecules. Using a polymer stretching experiment as an example, it is shown that in the limit of a single, short molecule the outcome of experimental measurements may depend on which variables are held fixed and which are allowed to fluctuate. Thus an experiment in which the end-to-end distance of the polymer molecule is fixed and the tension fluctuates yields a different result than an experiment where the force is fixed and the end-to-end distance fluctuates. It is further shown that this difference is due to asymmetry in the distribution of end-to-end distances for a single molecule, and that the difference vanishes in the appropriate thermodynamic limit; that is, as the polymer molecule becomes long compared to its persistence length. Despite these differences, much of the thermodynamic formalism still applies on the single-molecule level if the thermodynamic free energies are replaced with appropriate potentials of mean force. The primary remaining differences are consequences of the fact that unlike the free energies, the potentials of mean force are not in general homogeneous functions of their variables. The basic thermodynamic concepts of an intensive or extensive quantity, and the thermodynamic relationships that follow from them, are therefore less useful for interpreting single-molecule experiments.

  16. Single Molecule Raman Spectroscopy Under High Pressure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fu, Yuanxi; Dlott, Dana

    2014-06-01

    Pressure effects on surface-enhanced Raman scattering spectra of Rhdoamine 6G adsorbed on silver nanoparticle surfaces was studied using a confocal Raman microscope. Colloidal silver nanoparticles were treated with Rhodamine 6G (R6G) and its isotopically substituted partner, R6G-d4. Mixed isotopomers let us identify single-molecule spectra, since multiple-molecule spectra would show vibrational transitions from both species. The nanoparticles were embedded into a poly vinyl alcohol film, and loaded into a diamond anvil cell for the high-pressure Raman scattering measurement. Argon was the pressure medium. Ambient pressure Raman scattering spectra showed few single-molecule spectra. At moderately high pressure ( 1GPa), a surprising effect was observed. The number of sites with observable spectra decreased dramatically, and most of the spectra that could be observed were due to single molecules. The effects of high pressure suppressed the multiple-molecule Raman sites, leaving only the single-molecule sites to be observed.

  17. Single-molecule methods to quantify adsorptive separations (Presentation Recording)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Landes, Christy

    2015-08-01

    Interfacial adsorption and transport are the chemical and physical processes that underlie separations. Although separations technology accounts for hundreds of billions of dollars in the global economy, the process is not well-understood at the mechanistic level and instead is almost always optimized empirically. One of the reasons is that access to the underlying molecular phenomena has only been available recently via single-molecule methods. There are still interesting challenges because adsorption, desorption, and transport are all dynamic processes, whereas much of the advances in super-resolution imaging have focused on imaging static materials. Our lab has focused in recent years on developing and optimizing data analysis methods for quantifying the dynamics of adsorption and transport in porous materials at nanometer-resolution spatial scales. Our methods include maximizing information content in dynamic single-molecule data and developing methods to detect change-points in binned data. My talk will outline these methods, and will address how and when they can be applied to extract dynamic details in heterogeneous materials such as porous membranes.

  18. Predicting single-molecule conductance through machine learning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lanzillo, Nicholas A.; Breneman, Curt M.

    2016-10-01

    We present a robust machine learning model that is trained on the experimentally determined electrical conductance values of approximately 120 single-molecule junctions used in scanning tunnelling microscope molecular break junction (STM-MBJ) experiments. Quantum mechanical, chemical, and topological descriptors are used to correlate each molecular structure with a conductance value, and the resulting machine-learning model can predict the corresponding value of conductance with correlation coefficients of r 2 = 0.95 for the training set and r 2 = 0.78 for a blind testing set. While neglecting entirely the effects of the metal contacts, this work demonstrates that single molecule conductance can be qualitatively correlated with a number of molecular descriptors through a suitably trained machine learning model. The dominant features in the machine learning model include those based on the electronic wavefunction, the geometry/topology of the molecule as well as the surface chemistry of the molecule. This model can be used to identify promising molecular structures for use in single-molecule electronic circuits and can guide synthesis and experiments in the future.

  19. Automated imaging system for single molecules

    DOEpatents

    Schwartz, David Charles; Runnheim, Rodney; Forrest, Daniel

    2012-09-18

    There is provided a high throughput automated single molecule image collection and processing system that requires minimal initial user input. The unique features embodied in the present disclosure allow automated collection and initial processing of optical images of single molecules and their assemblies. Correct focus may be automatically maintained while images are collected. Uneven illumination in fluorescence microscopy is accounted for, and an overall robust imaging operation is provided yielding individual images prepared for further processing in external systems. Embodiments described herein are useful in studies of any macromolecules such as DNA, RNA, peptides and proteins. The automated image collection and processing system and method of same may be implemented and deployed over a computer network, and may be ergonomically optimized to facilitate user interaction.

  20. Artifacts in single-molecule localization microscopy.

    PubMed

    Burgert, Anne; Letschert, Sebastian; Doose, Sören; Sauer, Markus

    2015-08-01

    Single-molecule localization microscopy provides subdiffraction resolution images with virtually molecular resolution. Through the availability of commercial instruments and open-source reconstruction software, achieving super resolution is now public domain. However, despite its conceptual simplicity, localization microscopy remains prone to user errors. Using direct stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy, we investigate the impact of irradiation intensity, label density and photoswitching behavior on the distribution of membrane proteins in reconstructed super-resolution images. We demonstrate that high emitter densities in combination with inappropriate photoswitching rates give rise to the appearance of artificial membrane clusters. Especially, two-dimensional imaging of intrinsically three-dimensional membrane structures like microvilli, filopodia, overlapping membranes and vesicles with high local emitter densities is prone to generate artifacts. To judge the quality and reliability of super-resolution images, the single-molecule movies recorded to reconstruct the images have to be carefully investigated especially when investigating membrane organization and cluster analysis.

  1. Challenges in quantitative single molecule localization microscopy.

    PubMed

    Shivanandan, A; Deschout, H; Scarselli, M; Radenovic, A

    2014-10-01

    Single molecule localization microscopy (SMLM), which can provide up to an order of magnitude improvement in spatial resolution over conventional fluorescence microscopy, has the potential to be a highly useful tool for quantitative biological experiments. It has already been used for this purpose in varied fields in biology, ranging from molecular biology to neuroscience. In this review article, we briefly review the applications of SMLM in quantitative biology, and also the challenges involved and some of the solutions that have been proposed. Due to its advantages in labeling specificity and the relatively low overcounting caused by photoblinking when photo-activable fluorescent proteins (PA-FPs) are used as labels, we focus specifically on Photo-Activated Localization Microscopy (PALM), even though the ideas presented might be applicable to SMLM in general. Also, we focus on the following three quantitative measurements: single molecule counting, analysis of protein spatial distribution heterogeneity and co-localization analysis.

  2. Single Molecule Dynamics of Branched DNA Polymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mai, Danielle; Sing, Charles; Schroeder, Charles

    This work focuses on extending the field of single polymer dynamics to topologically complex polymers. Here, we report the direct observation of DNA-based branched polymers. Recently, we recently demonstrated a two-step synthesis method to generate star, H-shaped, and comb polymers for single molecule visualization. Following synthesis, we use single-color or dual-color single molecule fluorescence microscopy to directly visualize branched polymer dynamics in flow, in particular tracking side branches and backbones independently. In this way, our imaging method allows for characterization of molecular properties, including quantification of polymer contour length and branch distributions. Moving beyond characterization, we use molecular rheology and single molecule techniques to study the dynamics of single branched polymers in flow. Here, we utilize precision microfluidics to directly observe branched DNA polymer conformations during transient stretching, steady-state extension, and relaxation from high stretch. We specifically measure backbone end-to-end distance as a function of time. Experiments and Brownian dynamics simulations show that branched polymer relaxation is a strong function of the number of branches and position of branch points along the main chain backbone.

  3. Model systems for single molecule polymer dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Latinwo, Folarin

    2012-01-01

    Double stranded DNA (dsDNA) has long served as a model system for single molecule polymer dynamics. However, dsDNA is a semiflexible polymer, and the structural rigidity of the DNA double helix gives rise to local molecular properties and chain dynamics that differ from flexible chains, including synthetic organic polymers. Recently, we developed single stranded DNA (ssDNA) as a new model system for single molecule studies of flexible polymer chains. In this work, we discuss model polymer systems in the context of “ideal” and “real” chain behavior considering thermal blobs, tension blobs, hydrodynamic drag and force–extension relations. In addition, we present monomer aspect ratio as a key parameter describing chain conformation and dynamics, and we derive dynamical scaling relations in terms of this molecular-level parameter. We show that asymmetric Kuhn segments can suppress monomer–monomer interactions, thereby altering global chain dynamics. Finally, we discuss ssDNA in the context of a new model system for single molecule polymer dynamics. Overall, we anticipate that future single polymer studies of flexible chains will reveal new insight into the dynamic behavior of “real” polymers, which will highlight the importance of molecular individualism and the prevalence of non-linear phenomena. PMID:22956980

  4. Trapping and manipulating single molecules of DNA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shon, Min Ju

    This thesis presents the development and application of nanoscale techniques to trap and manipulate biomolecules, with a focus on DNA. These methods combine single-molecule microscopy and nano- and micro-fabrication to study biophysical properties of DNA and proteins. The Dimple Machine is a lab-on-a-chip device that can isolate and confine a small number of molecules from a bulk solution. It traps molecules in nanofabricated chambers, or "dimples", and the trapped molecules are then studied on a fluorescence microscope at the single-molecule level. The sampling of bulk solution by dimples is representative, reproducible, and automated, enabling highthroughput single-molecule experiments. The device was applied to study hybridization of oligonucleotides, particularly in the context of reaction thermodynamics and kinetics in nanoconfinement. The DNA Pulley is a system to study protein binding and the local mechanical properties of DNA. A molecule of DNA is tethered to a surface on one end, and a superparamagnetic bead is attached to the other. A magnet pulls the DNA taut, and a silicon nitride knife with a nanoscale blade scans the DNA along its contour. Information on the local properties of the DNA is extracted by tracking the bead with nanometer precision in a white-light microscope. The system can detect proteins bound to DNA and localize their recognition sites, as shown with a model protein, EcoRI restriction enzyme. Progress on the measurements of nano-mechanical properties of DNA is included.

  5. Single-Molecule Imaging of Cellular Signaling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Keijzer, Sandra; Snaar-Jagalska, B. Ewa; Spaink, Herman P.; Schmidt, Thomas

    Single-molecule microscopy is an emerging technique to understand the function of a protein in the context of its natural environment. In our laboratory this technique has been used to study the dynamics of signal transduction in vivo. A multitude of signal transduction cascades are initiated by interactions between proteins in the plasma membrane. These cascades start by binding a ligand to its receptor, thereby activating downstream signaling pathways which finally result in complex cellular responses. To fully understand these processes it is important to study the initial steps of the signaling cascades. Standard biological assays mostly call for overexpression of the proteins and high concentrations of ligand. This sets severe limits to the interpretation of, for instance, the time-course of the observations, given the large temporal spread caused by the diffusion-limited binding processes. Methods and limitations of single-molecule microscopy for the study of cell signaling are discussed on the example of the chemotactic signaling of the slime-mold Dictyostelium discoideum. Single-molecule studies, as reviewed in this chapter, appear to be one of the essential methodologies for the full spatiotemporal clarification of cellular signaling, one of the ultimate goals in cell biology.

  6. Single-molecule sensing electrode embedded in-plane nanopore

    PubMed Central

    Tsutsui, Makusu; Rahong, Sakon; Iizumi, Yoko; Okazaki, Toshiya; Taniguchi, Masateru; Kawai, Tomoji

    2011-01-01

    Electrode-embedded nanopore is considered as a promising device structure for label-free single-molecule sequencing, the principle of which is based on nucleotide identification via transverse electron tunnelling current flowing through a DNA translocating through the pore. Yet, fabrication of a molecular-scale electrode-nanopore detector has been a formidable task that requires atomic-level alignment of a few nanometer sized pore and an electrode gap. Here, we report single-molecule detection using a nucleotide-sized sensing electrode embedded in-plane nanopore. We developed a self-alignment technique to form a nanopore-nanoelectrode solid-state device consisting of a sub-nanometer scale electrode gap in a 15 nm-sized SiO2 pore. We demonstrate single-molecule counting of nucleotide-sized metal-encapsulated fullerenes in a liquid using the electrode-integrated nanopore sensor. We also performed electrical identification of nucleobases in a DNA oligomer, thereby suggesting the potential use of this synthetic electrode-in-nanopore as a platform for electrical DNA sequencing. PMID:22355565

  7. Application of Recognition Tunneling in Single Molecule Identification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Yanan

    Single molecule identification is one essential application area of nanotechnology. The application areas including DNA sequencing, peptide sequencing, early disease detection and other industrial applications such as quantitative and quantitative analysis of impurities, etc. The recognition tunneling technique we have developed shows that after functionalization of the probe and substrate of a conventional Scanning Tunneling Microscope with recognition molecules ("tethered molecule-pair" configuration), analyte molecules trapped in the gap that is formed by probe and substrate will bond with the reagent molecules. The stochastic bond formation/breakage fluctuations give insight into the nature of the intermolecular bonding at a single molecule-pair level. The distinct time domain and frequency domain features of tunneling signals were extracted from raw signals of analytes such as amino acids and their enantiomers. The Support Vector Machine (a machine-learning method) was used to do classification and predication based on the signal features generated by analytes, giving over 90% accuracy of separation of up to seven analytes. This opens up a new interface between chemistry and electronics with immediate implications for rapid Peptide/DNA sequencing and molecule identification at single molecule level.

  8. Toward control of the metal-organic interfacial electronic structure in molecular electronics: a first-principles study on self-assembled monolayers of pi-conjugated molecules on noble metals.

    PubMed

    Heimel, Georg; Romaner, Lorenz; Zojer, Egbert; Brédas, Jean-Luc

    2007-04-01

    Self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of organic molecules provide an important tool to tune the work function of electrodes in plastic electronics and significantly improve device performance. Also, the energetic alignment of the frontier molecular orbitals in the SAM with the Fermi energy of a metal electrode dominates charge transport in single-molecule devices. On the basis of first-principles calculations on SAMs of pi-conjugated molecules on noble metals, we provide a detailed description of the mechanisms that give rise to and intrinsically link these interfacial phenomena at the atomic level. The docking chemistry on the metal side of the SAM determines the level alignment, while chemical modifications on the far side provide an additional, independent handle to modify the substrate work function; both aspects can be tuned over several eV. The comprehensive picture established in this work provides valuable guidelines for controlling charge-carrier injection in organic electronics and current-voltage characteristics in single-molecule devices.

  9. Single molecule microscopy and spectroscopy: concluding remarks.

    PubMed

    van Hulst, Niek F

    2015-01-01

    Chemistry is all about molecules: control, synthesis, interaction and reaction of molecules. All too easily on a blackboard, one draws molecules, their structures and dynamics, to create an insightful picture. The dream is to see these molecules in reality. This is exactly what "Single Molecule Detection" provides: a look at molecules in action at ambient conditions; a breakthrough technology in chemistry, physics and biology. Within the realms of the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Faraday Discussion on "Single Molecule Microscopy and Spectroscopy" was a very appropriate topic for presentation, deliberation and debate. Undoubtedly, the Faraday Discussions have a splendid reputation in stimulating scientific debates along the traditions set by Michael Faraday. Interestingly, back in the 1830's, Faraday himself pursued an experiment that led to the idea that atoms in a compound were joined by an electrical component. He placed two opposite electrodes in a solution of water containing a dissolved compound, and observed that one of the elements of the compound accumulated on one electrode, while the other was deposited on the opposite electrode. Although Faraday was deeply opposed to atomism, he had to recognize that electrical forces were responsible for the joining of atoms. Probably a direct view on the atoms or molecules in his experiment would have convinced him. As such, Michael Faraday might have liked the gathering at Burlington House in September 2015 (). Surely, with the questioning eyes of his bust on the 1st floor corridor, the non-believer Michael Faraday has incited each passer-by to enter into discussion and search for deeper answers at the level of single molecules. In these concluding remarks, highlights of the presented papers and discussions are summarized, complemented by a conclusion on future perspectives. PMID:26606461

  10. Single molecule microscopy and spectroscopy: concluding remarks.

    PubMed

    van Hulst, Niek F

    2015-01-01

    Chemistry is all about molecules: control, synthesis, interaction and reaction of molecules. All too easily on a blackboard, one draws molecules, their structures and dynamics, to create an insightful picture. The dream is to see these molecules in reality. This is exactly what "Single Molecule Detection" provides: a look at molecules in action at ambient conditions; a breakthrough technology in chemistry, physics and biology. Within the realms of the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Faraday Discussion on "Single Molecule Microscopy and Spectroscopy" was a very appropriate topic for presentation, deliberation and debate. Undoubtedly, the Faraday Discussions have a splendid reputation in stimulating scientific debates along the traditions set by Michael Faraday. Interestingly, back in the 1830's, Faraday himself pursued an experiment that led to the idea that atoms in a compound were joined by an electrical component. He placed two opposite electrodes in a solution of water containing a dissolved compound, and observed that one of the elements of the compound accumulated on one electrode, while the other was deposited on the opposite electrode. Although Faraday was deeply opposed to atomism, he had to recognize that electrical forces were responsible for the joining of atoms. Probably a direct view on the atoms or molecules in his experiment would have convinced him. As such, Michael Faraday might have liked the gathering at Burlington House in September 2015 (). Surely, with the questioning eyes of his bust on the 1st floor corridor, the non-believer Michael Faraday has incited each passer-by to enter into discussion and search for deeper answers at the level of single molecules. In these concluding remarks, highlights of the presented papers and discussions are summarized, complemented by a conclusion on future perspectives.

  11. Hafnium metallocene compounds used as cathode interfacial layers for enhanced electron transfer in organic solar cells.

    PubMed

    Park, Keunhee; Oh, Seungsik; Jung, Donggeun; Chae, Heeyeop; Kim, Hyoungsub; Boo, Jin-Hyo

    2012-01-09

    We have used hafnium metallocene compounds as cathode interfacial layers for organic solar cells [OSCs]. A metallocene compound consists of a transition metal and two cyclopentadienyl ligands coordinated in a sandwich structure. For the fabrication of the OSCs, poly[3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene]:poly(styrene sulfonate), poly(3-hexylthiophene-2,5-diyl) + 66-phenyl C61 butyric acid methyl ester, bis-(ethylcyclopentadienyl)hafnium(IV) dichloride, and aluminum were deposited as a hole transport layer, an active layer, a cathode interfacial layer, and a cathode, respectively. The hafnium metallocene compound cathode interfacial layer improved the performance of OSCs compared to that of OSCs without the interfacial layer. The current density-voltage characteristics of OSCs with an interfacial layer thickness of 0.7 nm and of those without an interfacial layer showed power conversion efficiency [PCE] values of 2.96% and 2.34%, respectively, under an illumination condition of 100 mW/cm2 (AM 1.5). It is thought that a cathode interfacial layer of an appropriate thickness enhances the electron transfer between the active layer and the cathode, and thus increases the PCE of the OSCs.

  12. Single-molecule electrophoresis. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Castro, A.; Shera, E.B.

    1996-05-22

    A novel method for the detection and identification of single molecules in solution has been devised, computer-simulated, and experimentally achieved. The technique involves the determination of electrophoretic velocities by measuring the time required by individual molecules to travel a fixed distance between two laser beams. Computer simulations of the process were performed beforehand in order to estimate the experimental feasibility of the method, and to determine the optimum values for the various experimental parameters. Examples of the use of the technique for the ultrasensitive detection and identification of rhodamine-6G, a mixture of DNA restriction fragments, and a mixture of proteins in aqueous solution are presented.

  13. Promising anchoring groups for single-molecule conductance measurements.

    PubMed

    Kaliginedi, Veerabhadrarao; Rudnev, Alexander V; Moreno-García, Pavel; Baghernejad, Masoud; Huang, Cancan; Hong, Wenjing; Wandlowski, Thomas

    2014-11-21

    The understanding of the charge transport through single molecule junctions is a prerequisite for the design and building of electronic circuits based on single molecule junctions. However, reliable and robust formation of such junctions is a challenging task to achieve. In this topical review, we present a systematic investigation of the anchoring group effect on single molecule junction conductance by employing two complementary techniques, namely scanning tunneling microscopy break junction (STM-BJ) and mechanically controllable break junction (MCBJ) techniques, based on the studies published in the literature and important results from our own work. We compared conductance studies for conventional anchoring groups described earlier with the molecular junctions formed through π-interactions with the electrode surface (Au, Pt, Ag) and we also summarized recent developments in the formation of highly conducting covalent Au-C σ-bonds using oligophenyleneethynylene (OPE) and an alkane molecular backbone. Specifically, we focus on the electron transport properties of diaryloligoyne, oligophenyleneethynylene (OPE) and/or alkane molecular junctions composed of several traditional anchoring groups, (dihydrobenzo[b]thiophene (BT), 5-benzothienyl analogue (BTh), thiol (SH), pyridyl (PY), amine (NH2), cyano (CN), methyl sulphide (SMe), nitro (NO2)) and other anchoring groups at the solid/liquid interface. The qualitative and quantitative comparison of the results obtained with different anchoring groups reveals structural and mechanistic details of the different types of single molecular junctions. The results reported in this prospective may serve as a guideline for the design and synthesis of molecular systems to be used in molecule-based electronic devices.

  14. PREFACE: Nanoelectronics, sensors and single molecule biophysics Nanoelectronics, sensors and single molecule biophysics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tao, Nongjian

    2012-04-01

    This special section of Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter (JPCM) is dedicated to Professor Stuart M Lindsay on the occasion of his 60th birthday and in recognition of his outstanding contributions to multiple research areas, including light scattering spectroscopy, scanning probe microscopy, biophysics, solid-liquid interfaces and molecular and nanoelectronics. It contains a collection of 14 papers in some of these areas, including a feature article by Lindsay. Each paper was subject to the normal rigorous review process of JPCM. In Lindsay's paper, he discusses the next generations of hybrid chemical-CMOS devices for low cost and personalized medical diagnosis. The discussion leads to several papers on nanotechnology for biomedical applications. Kawaguchi et al report on the detection of single pollen allergen particles using electrode embedded microchannels. Stern et al describe a structural study of three-dimensional DNA-nanoparticle assemblies. Hihath et al measure the conductance of methylated DNA, and discuss the possibility of electrical detection DNA methylation. Portillo et al study the electrostatic effects on the aggregation of prion proteins and peptides with atomic force microscopy. In an effort to understand the interactions between nanostructures and cells, Lamprecht et al report on the mapping of the intracellular distribution of carbon nanotubes with a confocal Raman imaging technique, and Wang et al focus on the intracellular delivery of gold nanoparticles using fluorescence microscopy. Park and Kristic provide theoretical analysis of micro- and nano-traps and their biological applications. This section also features several papers on the fundamentals of electron transport in single atomic wires and molecular junctions. The papers by Xu et al and by Wandlowksi et al describe new methods to measure conductance and forces in single molecule junctions and metallic atomic wires. Scullion et al report on the conductance of molecules with similar

  15. Hybrid photodetector for single-molecule spectroscopy and microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Michalet, X.; Cheng, Adrian; Antelman, Joshua; Suyama, Motohiro; Arisaka, Katsushi; Weiss, Shimon

    2011-01-01

    We report benchmark tests of a new single-photon counting detector based on a GaAsP photocathode and an electron-bombarded avalanche photodiode developed by Hamamatsu Photonics. We compare its performance with those of standard Geiger-mode avalanche photodiodes. We show its advantages for FCS due to the absence of after-pulsing and for fluorescence lifetime measurements due to its excellent time resolution. Its large sensitive area also greatly simplifies setup alignment. Its spectral sensitivity being similar to that of recently introduced CMOS SPADs, this new detector could become a valuable tool for single-molecule fluorescence measurements, as well as for many other applications. PMID:21822361

  16. Theoretical investigation on single-molecule chiroptical spectroscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Wakabayashi, M.; Yokojima, S.; Fukaminato, T.; Ogata, K.; Nakamura, S.

    2013-12-10

    Some experimental results of chiroptical response of single molecule have already reported. In those experiments, dissymmetry parameter, g was used as an indicator of the relative circular dichroism intensity. The parameter for individual molecules was measured. For the purpose of giving an interpretation or explanation to the experimental result, the dissymmetry parameter is formulated on the basis of Fermi’s golden rule. Subsequently, the value of individual molecules is evaluated as a function of the direction of light propagation to the orientationary fixed molecules. The ground and excited wavefunction of electrons in the molecule and transition moments needed are culculated using the density functional theory.

  17. Single Molecule and Single Cell Epigenomics

    PubMed Central

    Hyun, Byung-Ryool; McElwee, John L.; Soloway, Paul D.

    2014-01-01

    Dynamically regulated changes in chromatin states are vital for normal development and can produce disease when they go awry. Accordingly, much effort has been devoted to characterizing these states under normal and pathological conditions. Chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by sequencing (ChIP-seq) is the most widely used method to characterize where in the genome transcription factors, modified histones, modified nucleotides and chromatin binding proteins are found; bisulfite sequencing (BS-seq) and its variants are commonly used to characterize the locations of DNA modifications. Though very powerful, these methods are not without limitations. Notably, they are best at characterizing one chromatin feature at a time, yet chromatin features arise and function in combination. Investigators commonly superimpose separate ChIP-seq or BS-seq datasets, and then infer where chromatin features are found together. While these inferences might be correct, they can be misleading when the chromatin source has distinct cell types, or when a given cell type exhibits any cell to cell variation in chromatin state. These ambiguities can be eliminated by robust methods that directly characterize the existence and genomic locations of combinations of chromatin features in very small inputs of cells or ideally, single cells. Here we review single molecule epigenomic methods under development to overcome these limitations, the technical challenges associated with single molecule methods and their potential application to single cells. PMID:25204781

  18. Single-molecule studies of collagen mechanics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forde, Nancy; Rezaei, Naghmeh; Kirkness, Michael

    Collagen is the fundamental structural protein in vertebrates. Its triple helical structure at the molecular level is believed to be strongly related to its mechanical role in connective tissues. However, the mechanics of collagen at the single-molecule level remain contentious. Estimates of its persistence length span an order of magnitude, from 15-180 nm for this biopolymer of 300 nm contour length. How collagen responds to applied force is also controversial, with different single-molecule studies suggesting one of three different responses: extending entropically, overwinding, or unwinding, all at forces below 10 pN. Using atomic force microscopy to image collagens deposited from solution, we find that their flexibility depends strongly on ionic strength and pH. To study force-dependent structural changes, we are performing highly parallelized enzymatic cleavage assays of triple helical collagen in our new compact centrifuge force microscope. Because proteolytic cleavage requires a locally unwound triple helix, these experiments are revealing how local collagen structure changes in response to applied force. Our results can help to resolve long-standing debates about collagen mechanics and structure at the molecular level.

  19. Single molecule and single cell epigenomics.

    PubMed

    Hyun, Byung-Ryool; McElwee, John L; Soloway, Paul D

    2015-01-15

    Dynamically regulated changes in chromatin states are vital for normal development and can produce disease when they go awry. Accordingly, much effort has been devoted to characterizing these states under normal and pathological conditions. Chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by sequencing (ChIP-seq) is the most widely used method to characterize where in the genome transcription factors, modified histones, modified nucleotides and chromatin binding proteins are found; bisulfite sequencing (BS-seq) and its variants are commonly used to characterize the locations of DNA modifications. Though very powerful, these methods are not without limitations. Notably, they are best at characterizing one chromatin feature at a time, yet chromatin features arise and function in combination. Investigators commonly superimpose separate ChIP-seq or BS-seq datasets, and then infer where chromatin features are found together. While these inferences might be correct, they can be misleading when the chromatin source has distinct cell types, or when a given cell type exhibits any cell to cell variation in chromatin state. These ambiguities can be eliminated by robust methods that directly characterize the existence and genomic locations of combinations of chromatin features in very small inputs of cells or ideally, single cells. Here we review single molecule epigenomic methods under development to overcome these limitations, the technical challenges associated with single molecule methods and their potential application to single cells.

  20. Deciphering the scaling of single-molecule interactions using Jarzynski’s equality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raman, Sangeetha; Utzig, Thomas; Baimpos, Theodoros; Ratna Shrestha, Buddha; Valtiner, Markus

    2014-11-01

    Unravelling the complexity of the macroscopic world relies on understanding the scaling of single-molecule interactions towards integral macroscopic interactions. Here, we demonstrate the scaling of single acid-amine interactions through a synergistic experimental approach combining macroscopic surface forces apparatus experiments and single-molecule force spectroscopy. This experimental framework is ideal for testing the well-renowned Jarzynski’s equality, which relates work performed under non-equilibrium conditions with equilibrium free energy. Macroscopic equilibrium measurements scale linearly with the number density of interfacial bonds, providing acid-amine interaction energies of 10.9±0.2 kT. Irrespective of how far from equilibrium single-molecule experiments are performed, the Jarzynski’s free energy converges to 11±1 kT. Our results validate the applicability of Jarzynski’s equality to unravel the scaling of non-equilibrium single-molecule experiments to scenarios where large numbers of molecules interacts simultaneously in equilibrium. The developed scaling strategy predicts large-scale properties such as adhesion or cell-cell interactions on the basis of single-molecule measurements.

  1. Large negative differential conductance in single-molecule break junctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perrin, Mickael L.; Frisenda, Riccardo; Koole, Max; Seldenthuis, Johannes S.; Gil, Jose A. Celis; Valkenier, Hennie; Hummelen, Jan C.; Renaud, Nicolas; Grozema, Ferdinand C.; Thijssen, Joseph M.; Dulić, Diana; van der Zant, Herre S. J.

    2014-10-01

    Molecular electronics aims at exploiting the internal structure and electronic orbitals of molecules to construct functional building blocks. To date, however, the overwhelming majority of experimentally realized single-molecule junctions can be described as single quantum dots, where transport is mainly determined by the alignment of the molecular orbital levels with respect to the Fermi energies of the electrodes and the electronic coupling with those electrodes. Particularly appealing exceptions include molecules in which two moieties are twisted with respect to each other and molecules in which quantum interference effects are possible. Here, we report the experimental observation of pronounced negative differential conductance in the current-voltage characteristics of a single molecule in break junctions. The molecule of interest consists of two conjugated arms, connected by a non-conjugated segment, resulting in two coupled sites. A voltage applied across the molecule pulls the energy of the sites apart, suppressing resonant transport through the molecule and causing the current to decrease. A generic theoretical model based on a two-site molecular orbital structure captures the experimental findings well, as confirmed by density functional theory with non-equilibrium Green's functions calculations that include the effect of the bias. Our results point towards a conductance mechanism mediated by the intrinsic molecular orbitals alignment of the molecule.

  2. PREFACE: Nanoelectronics, sensors and single molecule biophysics Nanoelectronics, sensors and single molecule biophysics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tao, Nongjian

    2012-04-01

    This special section of Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter (JPCM) is dedicated to Professor Stuart M Lindsay on the occasion of his 60th birthday and in recognition of his outstanding contributions to multiple research areas, including light scattering spectroscopy, scanning probe microscopy, biophysics, solid-liquid interfaces and molecular and nanoelectronics. It contains a collection of 14 papers in some of these areas, including a feature article by Lindsay. Each paper was subject to the normal rigorous review process of JPCM. In Lindsay's paper, he discusses the next generations of hybrid chemical-CMOS devices for low cost and personalized medical diagnosis. The discussion leads to several papers on nanotechnology for biomedical applications. Kawaguchi et al report on the detection of single pollen allergen particles using electrode embedded microchannels. Stern et al describe a structural study of three-dimensional DNA-nanoparticle assemblies. Hihath et al measure the conductance of methylated DNA, and discuss the possibility of electrical detection DNA methylation. Portillo et al study the electrostatic effects on the aggregation of prion proteins and peptides with atomic force microscopy. In an effort to understand the interactions between nanostructures and cells, Lamprecht et al report on the mapping of the intracellular distribution of carbon nanotubes with a confocal Raman imaging technique, and Wang et al focus on the intracellular delivery of gold nanoparticles using fluorescence microscopy. Park and Kristic provide theoretical analysis of micro- and nano-traps and their biological applications. This section also features several papers on the fundamentals of electron transport in single atomic wires and molecular junctions. The papers by Xu et al and by Wandlowksi et al describe new methods to measure conductance and forces in single molecule junctions and metallic atomic wires. Scullion et al report on the conductance of molecules with similar

  3. Synthesis of single-molecule nanocars.

    PubMed

    Vives, Guillaume; Tour, James M

    2009-03-17

    The drive to miniaturize devices has led to a variety of molecular machines inspired by macroscopic counterparts such as molecular motors, switches, shuttles, turnstiles, barrows, elevators, and nanovehicles. Such nanomachines are designed for controlled mechanical motion and the transport of nanocargo. As researchers miniaturize devices, they can consider two complementary approaches: (1) the "top-down" approach, which reduces the size of macroscopic objects to reach an equivalent microscopic entity using photolithography and related techniques and (2) the "bottom-up" approach, which builds functional microscopic or nanoscopic entities from molecular building blocks. The top-down approach, extensively used by the semiconductor industry, is nearing its scaling limits. On the other hand, the bottom-up approach takes advantage of the self-assembly of smaller molecules into larger networks by exploiting typically weak molecular interactions. But self-assembly alone will not permit complex assembly. Using nanomachines, we hope to eventually consider complex, enzyme-like directed assembly. With that ultimate goal, we are currently exploring the control of nanomachines that would provide a basis for the future bottom-up construction of complex systems. This Account describes the synthesis of a class of molecular machines that resemble macroscopic vehicles. We designed these so-called nanocars for study at the single-molecule level by scanning probe microscopy (SPM). The vehicles have a chassis connected to wheel-terminated axles and convert energy inputs such as heat, electric fields, or light into controlled motion on a surface, ultimately leading to transport of nanocargo. At first, we used C(60) fullerenes as wheels, which allowed the demonstration of a directional rolling mechanism of a nanocar on a gold surface by STM. However, because of the low solubility of the fullerene nanocars and the incompatibility of fullerenes with photochemical processes, we developed new

  4. Theory of single molecule emission spectroscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Bel, Golan; Brown, Frank L. H.

    2015-05-07

    A general theory and calculation framework for the prediction of frequency-resolved single molecule photon counting statistics is presented. Expressions for the generating function of photon counts are derived, both for the case of naive “detection” based solely on photon emission from the molecule and also for experimentally realizable detection of emitted photons, and are used to explicitly calculate low-order photon-counting moments. The two cases of naive detection versus physical detection are compared to one another and it is demonstrated that the physical detection scheme resolves certain inconsistencies predicted via the naive detection approach. Applications to two different models for molecular dynamics are considered: a simple two-level system and a two-level absorber subject to spectral diffusion.

  5. Single-molecule observations of ribosome function.

    PubMed

    Blanchard, Scott C

    2009-02-01

    Single-molecule investigations promise to greatly advance our understanding of basic and regulated ribosome functions during the process of translation. Here, recent progress towards directly imaging the elemental translation elongation steps using fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET)-based imaging methods is discussed, which provide striking evidence of the highly dynamic nature of the ribosome. In this view, global rates and fidelities of protein synthesis reactions may be regulated by interactions of the ribosome with mRNA, tRNA, translation factors and potentially many other cellular ligands that modify intrinsic conformational equilibria in the translating particle. Future investigations probing this model must aim to visualize translation processes from multiple structural and kinetic perspectives simultaneously, to provide direct correlations between factor binding and conformational events.

  6. Single-Molecule Microscopy of Nanocatalysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Peng

    2014-06-01

    Nanoparticles are important catalysts. Understanding their structure-activity correlation is paramount for developing better catalysts, but hampered by their inherent inhomogeneity: individual nanoparticles differ from one to another, and for every nanoparticle, it can change from time to time, especially during catalysis. Furthermore, each nanoparticle presents on its surface various types of sites, which are often unequal in catalytic activity. I will present our work of using single-molecule fluorescence microscopy to overcome these challenges and study single-nanoparticle catalysis at the single-turnover resolution and nanometer precision. I will present how we interrogate the catalytic activity and dynamics of individual metal nanoparticles, map the reactivity of different surface sites, and uncover surprising spatial reactivity patterns within single facets at the nanoscale. This spatiotemporally resolved catalysis mapping also enables us to probe the communication between catalytic reactions at different locations on a single nanocatalyst, in much relation to allosteric effects in enzymes.

  7. Single molecule measurements and biological motors.

    PubMed

    Knight, Alex E; Mashanov, Gregory; Molloy, Justin E

    2005-12-01

    Recent technological advances in lasers and optical detectors have enabled a variety of new, single molecule technologies to be developed. Using intense and highly collimated laser light sources in addition to super-sensitive cameras, the fluorescence of single fluorophores can now be imaged in aqueous solution. Also, laser optical tweezers have enabled the piconewton forces produced by pair of interacting biomolecules to be measured directly. However, for a researcher new to the field to begin to use such techniques in their own research might seem a daunting prospect. Most of the equipment that is in use is custom-built. However, most of the equipment is essence fairly simple and the aim of this article is to provide an entry point to the field for a newcomer. It focuses mainly on those practical aspects which are not particularly well covered in the literature, and aims to provide an overview of the field as a whole with references and web links to more detailed sources elsewhere. Indeed, the opportunity to publish an article such as this on the Internet affords many new opportunities (and more space!) for presenting scientific ideas and information. For example, we have illustrated the nature of optical trap data with an interactive Java simulation; provided links to relevant web sites and technical documents, and included a large number of colour figures and plots. Our group's research focuses on molecular motors, and the bias of this article reflects this. It turns out that molecular motors have been a paradigm (or prototype) for single molecule research and the field has seen a rapid development in the techniques. It is hoped that the methods described here will be broadly applicable to other biological systems.

  8. Variation in the Single-Molecule Conductance of Oligothiophenes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Capozzi, Brian; Dell, Emma; Dubay, Kateri; Moreno, Jose; Berkelbach, Timothy; Reichman, David; Campos, Luis; Venkataraman, Latha

    2013-03-01

    Thiophenes are ubiquitous in organic electronic and photovoltaic applications; yet, they have received minimal attention in single molecule transport studies. Here, we carry out single molecule conductance measurements on a family of methyl sulfide-terminated oligothiophenes using the scanning tunneling microscope based break-junction technique. We find a non-exponential decay in conductance with the number of thiophene units (2 through 6) in the chain, which cannot be explained by a simple tunneling or hopping mechanism. We also find that the oligothiophenes exhibit a rather broad conductance distribution when compared to oligophenyls. Using a combination of experiment and molecular dynamics simulations, we show that this increased breadth is most likely due to different thiophene confomers sampled in the experiments, which do not necessarily maintain conjugation along the backbone. These measurements therefore reinforce the importance of conformation and conjugation effects in thiophene-based organic electronic devices where highly conducting molecular components are required. The experimental work was funded by NSF-DMR-1206202 and the theory was funded by the EFRC program of the U.S. Department of Energy under Award No. DESC0001085.

  9. Nanogap Electrodes towards Solid State Single-Molecule Transistors.

    PubMed

    Cui, Ajuan; Dong, Huanli; Hu, Wenping

    2015-12-01

    With the establishment of complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS)-based integrated circuit technology, it has become more difficult to follow Moore's law to further downscale the size of electronic components. Devices based on various nanostructures were constructed to continue the trend in the minimization of electronics, and molecular devices are among the most promising candidates. Compared with other candidates, molecular devices show unique superiorities, and intensive studies on molecular devices have been carried out both experimentally and theoretically at the present time. Compared to two-terminal molecular devices, three-terminal devices, namely single-molecule transistors, show unique advantages both in fundamental research and application and are considered to be an essential part of integrated circuits based on molecular devices. However, it is very difficult to construct them using the traditional microfabrication techniques directly, thus new fabrication strategies are developed. This review aims to provide an exclusive way of manufacturing solid state gated nanogap electrodes, the foundation of constructing transistors of single or a few molecules. Such single-molecule transistors have the potential to be used to build integrated circuits.

  10. Spectroscopic characterization of Venus at the single molecule level.

    PubMed

    David, Charlotte C; Dedecker, Peter; De Cremer, Gert; Verstraeten, Natalie; Kint, Cyrielle; Michiels, Jan; Hofkens, Johan

    2012-02-01

    Venus is a recently developed, fast maturating, yellow fluorescent protein that has been used as a probe for in vivo applications. In the present work the photophysical characteristics of Venus were analyzed spectroscopically at the bulk and single molecule level. Through time-resolved single molecule measurements we found that single molecules of Venus display pronounced fluctuations in fluorescence emission, with clear fluorescence on- and off-times. These fluorescence intermittencies were found to occupy a broad range of time scales, ranging from milliseconds to several seconds. Such long off-times can complicate the analysis of single molecule counting experiments or single-molecule FRET experiments.

  11. Detection of Steps in Single Molecule Data

    PubMed Central

    Aggarwal, Tanuj; Materassi, Donatello; Davison, Robert; Hays, Thomas; Salapaka, Murti

    2013-01-01

    Over the past few decades, single molecule investigations employing optical tweezers, AFM and TIRF microscopy have revealed that molecular behaviors are typically characterized by discrete steps or events that follow changes in protein conformation. These events, that manifest as steps or jumps, are short-lived transitions between otherwise more stable molecular states. A major limiting factor in determining the size and timing of the steps is the noise introduced by the measurement system. To address this impediment to the analysis of single molecule behaviors, step detection algorithms incorporate large records of data and provide objective analysis. However, existing algorithms are mostly based on heuristics that are not reliable and lack objectivity. Most of these step detection methods require the user to supply parameters that inform the search for steps. They work well, only when the signal to noise ratio (SNR) is high and stepping speed is low. In this report, we have developed a novel step detection method that performs an objective analysis on the data without input parameters, and based only on the noise statistics. The noise levels and characteristics can be estimated from the data providing reliable results for much smaller SNR and higher stepping speeds. An iterative learning process drives the optimization of step-size distributions for data that has unimodal step-size distribution, and produces extremely low false positive outcomes and high accuracy in finding true steps. Our novel methodology, also uniquely incorporates compensation for the smoothing affects of probe dynamics. A mechanical measurement probe typically takes a finite time to respond to step changes, and when steps occur faster than the probe response time, the sharp step transitions are smoothed out and can obscure the step events. To address probe dynamics we accept a model for the dynamic behavior of the probe and invert it to reveal the steps. No other existing method addresses

  12. Figuration and detection of single molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nevels, R.; Welch, G. R.; Cremer, P. S.; Hemmer, P.; Phillips, T.; Scully, S.; Sokolov, A. V.; Svidzinsky, A. A.; Xia, H.; Zheltikov, A.; Scully, M. O.

    2012-08-01

    Recent advances in the description of atoms and molecules based on Dimensional scaling analysis, developed by Dudley Herschbach and co-workers, provided new insights into visualization of molecular structure and chemical bonding. Prof. Herschbach is also a giant in the field of single molecule scattering. We here report on the engineering of molecular detectors. Such systems have a wide range of application from medical diagnostics to the monitoring of chemical, biological and environmental hazards. We discuss ways to identify preselected molecules, in particular, mycotoxin contaminants using coherent laser spectroscopy. Mycotoxin contaminants, e.g. aflatoxin B1 which is present in corn and peanuts, are usually analysed by time-consuming microscopic, chemical and biological assays. We present a new approach that derives from recent experiments in which molecules are prepared by one (or more) femtosecond laser(s) and probed by another set. We call this technique FAST CARS (femto second adaptive spectroscopic technique for coherent anti-Stokes Raman spectroscopy). We propose and analyse ways in which FAST CARS can be used to identify preselected molecules, e.g. aflatoxin, rapidly and economically.

  13. Theory of the Control of Ultrafast Interfacial Electron Transfer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rasmussen, Andrew Musso

    This dissertation describes the theoretial exploration of electron transfer (ET) processes at the interface between bulk and molecular or nanoscale materials. Analysis of simple model Hamiltonians, those for the two- and three-level electronic systems as well as for a single electronic level coupled to a continuum, inform an understanding of electron transfer in nontrivial systems. A new treatment of the three-level system at an undergraduate level encapsulates the hopping and superexchange mechanisms of electron transfer. The elegance of the behavior of ET from a single-level/continuum system precedes a treatment of the reverse process---quasicontinuum-to-discrete level ET. This reverse process, relevant to ET from a bulk material to a semiconductor quantum dot (QD) offers a handle for the coherent control of ET at an interface: the shape of an electronic wavepacket within the quasicontinuum. An extension of the single-level-to-continuum ET process is the injection of an electron from a QD to a wide-bandgap semiconductor nanoparticle (NP). We construct a minimal model to explain trends in ET rates at the QD/NP interface as a function of QD size. Finally, we propose a scheme to gate ET through a molecular junction via the coherent control of the torsional mode(s) of a linking molecule within the junction.

  14. Single-Molecule Sensors: Challenges and Opportunities for Quantitative Analysis.

    PubMed

    Gooding, J Justin; Gaus, Katharina

    2016-09-12

    Measurement science has been converging to smaller and smaller samples, such that it is now possible to detect single molecules. This Review focuses on the next generation of analytical tools that combine single-molecule detection with the ability to measure many single molecules simultaneously and/or process larger and more complex samples. Such single-molecule sensors constitute a new type of quantitative analytical tool, as they perform analysis by molecular counting and thus potentially capture the heterogeneity of the sample. This Review outlines the advantages and potential of these new, quantitative single-molecule sensors, the measurement challenges in making single-molecule devices suitable for analysis, the inspiration biology provides for overcoming these challenges, and some of the solutions currently being explored.

  15. Single-Molecule Sensors: Challenges and Opportunities for Quantitative Analysis.

    PubMed

    Gooding, J Justin; Gaus, Katharina

    2016-09-12

    Measurement science has been converging to smaller and smaller samples, such that it is now possible to detect single molecules. This Review focuses on the next generation of analytical tools that combine single-molecule detection with the ability to measure many single molecules simultaneously and/or process larger and more complex samples. Such single-molecule sensors constitute a new type of quantitative analytical tool, as they perform analysis by molecular counting and thus potentially capture the heterogeneity of the sample. This Review outlines the advantages and potential of these new, quantitative single-molecule sensors, the measurement challenges in making single-molecule devices suitable for analysis, the inspiration biology provides for overcoming these challenges, and some of the solutions currently being explored. PMID:27444661

  16. 'Single molecule': theory and experiments, an introduction.

    PubMed

    Riveline, Daniel

    2013-01-01

    At scales below micrometers, Brownian motion dictates most of the behaviors. The simple observation of a colloid is striking: a permanent and random motion is seen, whereas inertial forces play a negligible role. This Physics, where velocity is proportional to force, has opened new horizons in biology. The random feature is challenged in living systems where some proteins--molecular motors--have a directed motion whereas their passive behaviors of colloid should lead to a Brownian motion. Individual proteins, polymers of living matter such as DNA, RNA, actin or microtubules, molecular motors, all these objects can be viewed as chains of colloids. They are submitted to shocks from molecules of the solvent. Shapes taken by these biopolymers or dynamics imposed by motors can be measured and modeled from single molecules to their collective effects. Thanks to the development of experimental methods such as optical tweezers, Atomic Force Microscope (AFM), micropipettes, and quantitative fluorescence (such as Förster Resonance Energy Transfer, FRET), it is possible to manipulate these individual biomolecules in an unprecedented manner: experiments allow to probe the validity of models; and a new Physics has thereby emerged with original biological insights. Theories based on statistical mechanics are needed to explain behaviors of these systems. When force-extension curves of these molecules are extracted, the curves need to be fitted with models that predict the deformation of free objects or submitted to a force. When velocity of motors is altered, a quantitative analysis is required to explain the motions of individual molecules under external forces. This lecture will give some elements of introduction to the lectures of the session 'Nanophysics for Molecular Biology'.

  17. 'Single molecule': theory and experiments, an introduction

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    At scales below micrometers, Brownian motion dictates most of the behaviors. The simple observation of a colloid is striking: a permanent and random motion is seen, whereas inertial forces play a negligible role. This Physics, where velocity is proportional to force, has opened new horizons in biology. The random feature is challenged in living systems where some proteins - molecular motors - have a directed motion whereas their passive behaviors of colloid should lead to a Brownian motion. Individual proteins, polymers of living matter such as DNA, RNA, actin or microtubules, molecular motors, all these objects can be viewed as chains of colloids. They are submitted to shocks from molecules of the solvent. Shapes taken by these biopolymers or dynamics imposed by motors can be measured and modeled from single molecules to their collective effects. Thanks to the development of experimental methods such as optical tweezers, Atomic Force Microscope (AFM), micropipettes, and quantitative fluorescence (such as Förster Resonance Energy Transfer, FRET), it is possible to manipulate these individual biomolecules in an unprecedented manner: experiments allow to probe the validity of models; and a new Physics has thereby emerged with original biological insights. Theories based on statistical mechanics are needed to explain behaviors of these systems. When force-extension curves of these molecules are extracted, the curves need to be fitted with models that predict the deformation of free objects or submitted to a force. When velocity of motors is altered, a quantitative analysis is required to explain the motions of individual molecules under external forces. This lecture will give some elements of introduction to the lectures of the session 'Nanophysics for Molecular Biology'. PMID:24565227

  18. From single molecule to single tubules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Chin-Lin

    2012-02-01

    Biological systems often make decisions upon conformational changes and assembly of single molecules. In vivo, epithelial cells (such as the mammary gland cells) can respond to extracellular matrix (ECM) molecules, type I collagen (COL), and switch their morphology from a lobular lumen (100-200 micron) to a tubular lumen (1mm-1cm). However, how cells make such a morphogenetic decision through interactions with each other and with COL is unclear. Using a temporal control of cell-ECM interaction, we find that epithelial cells, in response to a fine-tuned percentage of type I collagen (COL) in ECM, develop various linear patterns. Remarkably, these patterns allow cells to self-assemble into a tubule of length ˜ 1cm and diameter ˜ 400 micron in the liquid phase (i.e., scaffold-free conditions). In contrast with conventional thought, the linear patterns arise through bi-directional transmission of traction force, but not through diffusible biochemical factors secreted by cells. In turn, the transmission of force evokes a long-range (˜ 600 micron) intercellular mechanical interaction. A feedback effect is encountered when the mechanical interaction modifies cell positioning and COL alignment. Micro-patterning experiments further reveal that such a feedback is a novel cell-number-dependent, rich-get-richer process, which allows cells to integrate mechanical interactions into long-range (> 1mm) linear coordination. Our results suggest a mechanism cells can use to form and coordinate long-range tubular patterns, independent of those controlled by diffusible biochemical factors, and provide a new strategy to engineer/regenerate epithelial organs using scaffold-free self-assembly methods.

  19. Microarray analysis at single molecule resolution

    PubMed Central

    Mureşan, Leila; Jacak, Jarosław; Klement, Erich Peter; Hesse, Jan; Schütz, Gerhard J.

    2010-01-01

    Bioanalytical chip-based assays have been enormously improved in sensitivity in the recent years; detection of trace amounts of substances down to the level of individual fluorescent molecules has become state of the art technology. The impact of such detection methods, however, has yet not fully been exploited, mainly due to a lack in appropriate mathematical tools for robust data analysis. One particular example relates to the analysis of microarray data. While classical microarray analysis works at resolutions of two to 20 micrometers and quantifies the abundance of target molecules by determining average pixel intensities, a novel high resolution approach [1] directly visualizes individual bound molecules as diffraction limited peaks. The now possible quantification via counting is less susceptible to labeling artifacts and background noise. We have developed an approach for the analysis of high-resolution microarray images. It consists first of a single molecule detection step, based on undecimated wavelet transforms, and second, of a spot identification step via spatial statistics approach (corresponding to the segmentation step in the classical microarray analysis). The detection method was tested on simulated images with a concentration range of 0.001 to 0.5 molecules per square micron and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) between 0.9 and 31.6. For SNR above 15 the false negatives relative error was below 15%. Separation of foreground/background proved reliable, in case foreground density exceeds background by a factor of 2. The method has also been applied to real data from high-resolution microarray measurements. PMID:20123580

  20. Single-Molecule Fluorescence Studies of RNA: A Decade's Progress

    PubMed Central

    Karunatilaka, Krishanthi S.; Rueda, David

    2009-01-01

    Over the past decade, single-molecule fluorescence studies have elucidated the structure-function relationship of RNA molecules. The real-time observation of individual RNAs by single-molecule fluorescence has unveiled the dynamic behavior of complex RNA systems in unprecedented detail, revealing the presence of transient intermediate states and their kinetic pathways. This review provides an overview of how single-molecule fluorescence has been used to explore the dynamics of RNA folding and catalysis. PMID:20161154

  1. Nonlinear coherent spectroscopy in the single molecule limit (Presentation Recording)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Potma, Eric O.

    2015-10-01

    Detecting coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) signals from signal molecules is a longstanding experimental challenge. Driving the vibrational CARS response with surface plasmon fields has proven notoriously difficult due to strong background contributions, unfavorable heat dissipation and the phase dispersion of the plasmon modes in the ensemble. In this work we overcome previous experimental limitations and demonstrate time-resolved, vibrational CARS from molecules in the low copy number limit, down to the single molecule level. Our measurements, which are performed under ambient and non-electronic resonance conditions, establish that the coherent response from vibrational modes of individual molecules can be studied experimentally, opening up a new realm of molecular spectroscopic investigations.

  2. n and p type character of single molecule diodes.

    PubMed

    Zoldan, Vinícius Claudio; Faccio, Ricardo; Pasa, André Avelino

    2015-01-01

    Looking for single molecule electronic devices, we have investigated the charge transport properties of individual tetra-phenylporphyrin molecules on different substrates by ultrahigh-vacuum scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy and by first-principles calculations. The tetra-phenylporphyrins with a Co atom (Co-TPP) or 2 hydrogens (H2-TPP) in the central macrocycle when deposited on Cu3Au(100) substrates showed a diode-like behavior with p and n type character, respectively. After removing the central hydrogens of H2-TPP molecule with the STM tip an ohmic behavior was measured. The rectifying effect was understood from the theoretical point of view by assuming for Co-TPP HOMO conduction and for H2-TPP LUMO conduction, both selectively elected by the hybridization of states between molecule and substrate surface. PMID:25666850

  3. n and p type character of single molecule diodes

    PubMed Central

    Zoldan, Vinícius Claudio; Faccio, Ricardo; Pasa, André Avelino

    2015-01-01

    Looking for single molecule electronic devices, we have investigated the charge transport properties of individual tetra-phenylporphyrin molecules on different substrates by ultrahigh-vacuum scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy and by first-principles calculations. The tetra-phenylporphyrins with a Co atom (Co-TPP) or 2 hydrogens (H2-TPP) in the central macrocycle when deposited on Cu3Au(100) substrates showed a diode-like behavior with p and n type character, respectively. After removing the central hydrogens of H2-TPP molecule with the STM tip an ohmic behavior was measured. The rectifying effect was understood from the theoretical point of view by assuming for Co-TPP HOMO conduction and for H2-TPP LUMO conduction, both selectively elected by the hybridization of states between molecule and substrate surface. PMID:25666850

  4. Dissecting contact mechanics from quantum interference in single-molecule junctions of stilbene derivatives.

    PubMed

    Aradhya, Sriharsha V; Meisner, Jeffrey S; Krikorian, Markrete; Ahn, Seokhoon; Parameswaran, Radha; Steigerwald, Michael L; Nuckolls, Colin; Venkataraman, Latha

    2012-03-14

    Electronic factors in molecules such as quantum interference and cross-conjugation can lead to dramatic modulation and suppression of conductance in single-molecule junctions. Probing such effects at the single-molecule level requires simultaneous measurements of independent junction properties, as conductance alone cannot provide conclusive evidence of junction formation for molecules with low conductivity. Here, we compare the mechanics of the conducting para-terminated 4,4'-di(methylthio)stilbene and moderately conducting 1,2-bis(4-(methylthio)phenyl)ethane to that of insulating meta-terminated 3,3'-di(methylthio)stilbene single-molecule junctions. We simultaneously measure force and conductance across single-molecule junctions and use force signatures to obtain independent evidence of junction formation and rupture in the meta-linked cross-conjugated molecule even when no clear low-bias conductance is measured. By separately quantifying conductance and mechanics, we identify the formation of atypical 3,3'-di(methylthio)stilbene molecular junctions that are mechanically stable but electronically decoupled. While theoretical studies have envisaged many plausible systems where quantum interference might be observed, our experiments provide the first direct quantitative study of the interplay between contact mechanics and the distinctively quantum mechanical nature of electronic transport in single-molecule junctions.

  5. Interfacial Electron Transfer and Transient Photoconductivity Studied with Terahertz Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Milot, Rebecca Lee

    Terahertz spectroscopy is distinguished from other far infrared and millimeter wave spectroscopies by its inherent phase sensitivity and sub-picosecond time resolution making it a versatile technique to study a wide range of physical phenomena. As THz spectroscopy is still a relatively new field, many aspects of THz generation mechanisms have not been fully examined. Using terahertz emission spectroscopy (TES), THz emission from ZnTe(110) was analyzed and found to be limited by two-photon absorption and free-carrier generation at high excitation fluences. Due to concerns about the continued use of fossil fuels, solar energy has been widely investigated as a promising source of renewable energy. Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) have been developed as a low-cost alternative to conventional photovoltaic solar cells. To solve the issues of the intermittency and inefficient transport associated with solar energy, researchers are attempting to adapt DSSCs for water oxidation and chemical fuel production. Both device designs incorporate sensitizer molecules covalently bound to metal oxide nanoparticles. The sensitizer, which is comprised of a chromophore and anchoring group, absorbs light and transfers an electron from its excited state to the conduction band of the metal oxide, producing an electric current. Using time-resolved THz spectroscopy (TRTS), an optical pump/THz probe technique, the efficiency and dynamics of electron injection from sensitizers to metal oxides was evaluated as a function of the chromophore, its anchoring group, and the metal oxide identity. Experiments for studying fully functioning DSSCs and water oxidation devices are also described. Bio-inspired pentafluorophenyl porphyrin chromophores have been designed and synthesized for use in photoelectrochemical water oxidation cells. Influences on the efficiency and dynamics of electron injection from the chromophores into TiO2 and SnO2 nanoparticles due to changes in both the central substituent to

  6. Interfacial Ga-As suboxide: Structural and electronic properties

    SciTech Connect

    Colleoni, Davide Pasquarello, Alfredo

    2015-07-20

    The structural and electronic properties of Ga-As suboxide representative of the transition region at the GaAs/oxide interface are studied through density functional calculations. Two amorphous models generated by quenches from the melt are taken under consideration. The absence of As–O bonds indicates that the structure is a mixture of GaAs and Ga-oxide, in accordance with photoemission experiments. The band edges of the models are found to be closely aligned to those of GaAs. The simulation of charging and discharging processes leads to the identification of an As-related defect with an energy level at ∼0.7 eV above the GaAs valence band maximum, in good agreement with the experimental density of interface states.

  7. Interfacial Ga-As suboxide: Structural and electronic properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Colleoni, Davide; Pasquarello, Alfredo

    2015-07-01

    The structural and electronic properties of Ga-As suboxide representative of the transition region at the GaAs/oxide interface are studied through density functional calculations. Two amorphous models generated by quenches from the melt are taken under consideration. The absence of As-O bonds indicates that the structure is a mixture of GaAs and Ga-oxide, in accordance with photoemission experiments. The band edges of the models are found to be closely aligned to those of GaAs. The simulation of charging and discharging processes leads to the identification of an As-related defect with an energy level at ˜0.7 eV above the GaAs valence band maximum, in good agreement with the experimental density of interface states.

  8. Single-molecule mechanics of protein-labelled DNA handles.

    PubMed

    Jadhav, Vivek S; Brüggemann, Dorothea; Wruck, Florian; Hegner, Martin

    2016-01-01

    DNA handles are often used as spacers and linkers in single-molecule experiments to isolate and tether RNAs, proteins, enzymes and ribozymes, amongst other biomolecules, between surface-modified beads for nanomechanical investigations. Custom DNA handles with varying lengths and chemical end-modifications are readily and reliably synthesized en masse, enabling force spectroscopic measurements with well-defined and long-lasting mechanical characteristics under physiological conditions over a large range of applied forces. Although these chemically tagged DNA handles are widely used, their further individual modification with protein receptors is less common and would allow for additional flexibility in grabbing biomolecules for mechanical measurements. In-depth information on reliable protocols for the synthesis of these DNA-protein hybrids and on their mechanical characteristics under varying physiological conditions are lacking in literature. Here, optical tweezers are used to investigate different protein-labelled DNA handles in a microfluidic environment under different physiological conditions. Digoxigenin (DIG)-dsDNA-biotin handles of varying sizes (1000, 3034 and 4056 bp) were conjugated with streptavidin or neutravidin proteins. The DIG-modified ends of these hybrids were bound to surface-modified polystyrene (anti-DIG) beads. Using different physiological buffers, optical force measurements showed consistent mechanical characteristics with long dissociation times. These protein-modified DNA hybrids were also interconnected in situ with other tethered biotinylated DNA molecules. Electron-multiplying CCD (EMCCD) imaging control experiments revealed that quantum dot-streptavidin conjugates at the end of DNA handles remain freely accessible. The experiments presented here demonstrate that handles produced with our protein-DNA labelling procedure are excellent candidates for grasping single molecules exposing tags suitable for molecular recognition in time

  9. Structure and mechanics of proteins from single molecules to cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, Andre E.

    2009-07-01

    Physical factors drive evolution and play important roles in motility and attachment as well as in differentiation. As animal cells adhere to survive, they generate force and "feel" various mechanical features of their surroundings and respond to externally applied forces. This mechanosensitivity requires a substrate for cells to adhere to and a mechanism for cells to apply force, followed by a cellular response to the mechanical properties of the substrate. We have taken an outside-in approach to characterize several aspects of cellular mechanosensitivity. First, we used single molecule force spectroscopy to measure how fibrinogen, an extracellular matrix protein that forms the scaffold of blood clots, responds to applied force and found that it rapidly unfolds in 23 nm steps at forces around 100 pN. Second, we used tensile testing to measure the force-extension behavior of fibrin gels and found that they behave almost linearly to strains of over 100%, have extensibilities of 170 +/- 15%, and undergo a large volume decrease that corresponds to a large and negative peak in compressibility at low strain, which indicates a structural transition. Using electron microscopy and X-ray scattering we concluded that these properties are likely due to coiled-coil unfolding, as observed at the single molecule level in fibrinogen. Moving inside cells, we used total internal reflection fluorescence and atomic force microscopy to image self-assembled myosin filaments. These filaments of motor proteins that are responsible for cell and muscle contractility were found to be asymmetric, with an average of 32% more force generating heads on one half than the other. This could imply a force imbalance, so that rather than being simply contractile, myosin filaments may also be motile in cells.

  10. Single-molecule mechanics of protein-labelled DNA handles

    PubMed Central

    Wruck, Florian

    2016-01-01

    Summary DNA handles are often used as spacers and linkers in single-molecule experiments to isolate and tether RNAs, proteins, enzymes and ribozymes, amongst other biomolecules, between surface-modified beads for nanomechanical investigations. Custom DNA handles with varying lengths and chemical end-modifications are readily and reliably synthesized en masse, enabling force spectroscopic measurements with well-defined and long-lasting mechanical characteristics under physiological conditions over a large range of applied forces. Although these chemically tagged DNA handles are widely used, their further individual modification with protein receptors is less common and would allow for additional flexibility in grabbing biomolecules for mechanical measurements. In-depth information on reliable protocols for the synthesis of these DNA–protein hybrids and on their mechanical characteristics under varying physiological conditions are lacking in literature. Here, optical tweezers are used to investigate different protein-labelled DNA handles in a microfluidic environment under different physiological conditions. Digoxigenin (DIG)-dsDNA-biotin handles of varying sizes (1000, 3034 and 4056 bp) were conjugated with streptavidin or neutravidin proteins. The DIG-modified ends of these hybrids were bound to surface-modified polystyrene (anti-DIG) beads. Using different physiological buffers, optical force measurements showed consistent mechanical characteristics with long dissociation times. These protein-modified DNA hybrids were also interconnected in situ with other tethered biotinylated DNA molecules. Electron-multiplying CCD (EMCCD) imaging control experiments revealed that quantum dot–streptavidin conjugates at the end of DNA handles remain freely accessible. The experiments presented here demonstrate that handles produced with our protein–DNA labelling procedure are excellent candidates for grasping single molecules exposing tags suitable for molecular recognition

  11. Single-molecule surface- and tip-enhanced raman spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pettinger, Bruno

    2010-08-01

    A review is given on single-molecule surface- and tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS and TERS). It sketches the historical development along different routes toward huge near-field enhancements, the basis of single-molecule enhanced Raman spectroscopy; from SNOM to apertureless SNOM to tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (TERS) and microscopy; from SERS to single-molecule SERS to single-molecule TERS. The claim of extremely high enhancement factors of 1014 in single-molecule SERS is critically discussed, in particular in the view of recent experimental and theoretical results that limits the electromagnetic enhancement to ⩽ 1011. In the field of TERS only very few reports on single-molecule TERS exist: single-molecule TERS on dyes and on a protein (cytochrome c). In the latter case, TERS 'sees' even subunits of this protein, either amino-acids or the heme, depending on the orientation of the protein relative to the tip. The former case concerns the dye brilliant cresyl blue adsorbed either on a Au surface under ambient conditions or on a Au(111) surface in ultra high vacuum. These results indicate that significant progress is to be expected for TERS in general and for single-molecule TERS in particular.

  12. Single molecule image formation, reconstruction and processing: introduction.

    PubMed

    Ashok, Amit; Piestun, Rafael; Stallinga, Sjoerd

    2016-07-01

    The ability to image at the single molecule scale has revolutionized research in molecular biology. This feature issue presents a collection of articles that provides new insights into the fundamental limits of single molecule imaging and reports novel techniques for image formation and analysis. PMID:27409708

  13. Single-molecule spectroscopy and imaging over the decades.

    PubMed

    Moerner, W E; Shechtman, Yoav; Wang, Quan

    2015-01-01

    As of 2015, it has been 26 years since the first optical detection and spectroscopy of single molecules in condensed matter. This area of science has expanded far beyond the early low temperature studies in crystals to include single molecules in cells, polymers, and in solution. The early steps relied upon high-resolution spectroscopy of inhomogeneously broadened optical absorption profiles of molecular impurities in solids at low temperatures. Spectral fine structure arising directly from the position-dependent fluctuations of the number of molecules in resonance led to the attainment of the single-molecule limit in 1989 using frequency-modulation laser spectroscopy. In the early 1990s, a variety of fascinating physical effects were observed for individual molecules, including imaging of the light from single molecules as well as observations of spectral diffusion, optical switching and the ability to select different single molecules in the same focal volume simply by tuning the pumping laser frequency. In the room temperature regime, researchers showed that bursts of light from single molecules could be detected in solution, leading to imaging and microscopy by a variety of methods. Studies of single copies of the green fluorescent protein also uncovered surprises, especially the blinking and photoinduced recovery of emitters, which stimulated further development of photoswitchable fluorescent protein labels. All of these early steps provided important fundamentals underpinning the development of super-resolution microscopy based on single-molecule localization and active control of emitting concentration. Current thrust areas include extensions to three-dimensional imaging with high precision, orientational analysis of single molecules, and direct measurements of photodynamics and transport properties for single molecules trapped in solution by suppression of Brownian motion. Without question, a huge variety of studies of single molecules performed by many

  14. Kinetic pathway for interfacial electron transfer from a semiconductor to a molecule.

    PubMed

    Hu, Ke; Blair, Amber D; Piechota, Eric J; Schauer, Phil A; Sampaio, Renato N; Parlane, Fraser G L; Meyer, Gerald J; Berlinguette, Curtis P

    2016-09-01

    Molecular approaches to solar-energy conversion require a kinetic optimization of light-induced electron-transfer reactions. At molecular-semiconductor interfaces, this optimization has previously been accomplished through control of the distance between the semiconductor donor and the molecular acceptor and/or the free energy that accompanies electron transfer. Here we show that a kinetic pathway for electron transfer from a semiconductor to a molecular acceptor also exists and provides an alternative method for the control of interfacial kinetics. The pathway was identified by the rational design of molecules in which the distance and the driving force were held near parity and only the geometric torsion about a xylyl- or phenylthiophene bridge was varied. Electronic coupling through the phenyl bridge was a factor of ten greater than that through the xylyl bridge. Comparative studies revealed a significant bridge dependence for electron transfer that could not be rationalized by a change in distance or driving force. Instead, the data indicate an interfacial electron-transfer pathway that utilizes the aromatic bridge orbitals. PMID:27554412

  15. Kinetic pathway for interfacial electron transfer from a semiconductor to a molecule

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Ke; Blair, Amber D.; Piechota, Eric J.; Schauer, Phil A.; Sampaio, Renato N.; Parlane, Fraser G. L.; Meyer, Gerald J.; Berlinguette, Curtis P.

    2016-09-01

    Molecular approaches to solar-energy conversion require a kinetic optimization of light-induced electron-transfer reactions. At molecular–semiconductor interfaces, this optimization has previously been accomplished through control of the distance between the semiconductor donor and the molecular acceptor and/or the free energy that accompanies electron transfer. Here we show that a kinetic pathway for electron transfer from a semiconductor to a molecular acceptor also exists and provides an alternative method for the control of interfacial kinetics. The pathway was identified by the rational design of molecules in which the distance and the driving force were held near parity and only the geometric torsion about a xylyl- or phenylthiophene bridge was varied. Electronic coupling through the phenyl bridge was a factor of ten greater than that through the xylyl bridge. Comparative studies revealed a significant bridge dependence for electron transfer that could not be rationalized by a change in distance or driving force. Instead, the data indicate an interfacial electron-transfer pathway that utilizes the aromatic bridge orbitals.

  16. Kinetic pathway for interfacial electron transfer from a semiconductor to a molecule

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Ke; Blair, Amber D.; Piechota, Eric J.; Schauer, Phil A.; Sampaio, Renato N.; Parlane, Fraser G. L.; Meyer, Gerald J.; Berlinguette, Curtis P.

    2016-09-01

    Molecular approaches to solar-energy conversion require a kinetic optimization of light-induced electron-transfer reactions. At molecular-semiconductor interfaces, this optimization has previously been accomplished through control of the distance between the semiconductor donor and the molecular acceptor and/or the free energy that accompanies electron transfer. Here we show that a kinetic pathway for electron transfer from a semiconductor to a molecular acceptor also exists and provides an alternative method for the control of interfacial kinetics. The pathway was identified by the rational design of molecules in which the distance and the driving force were held near parity and only the geometric torsion about a xylyl- or phenylthiophene bridge was varied. Electronic coupling through the phenyl bridge was a factor of ten greater than that through the xylyl bridge. Comparative studies revealed a significant bridge dependence for electron transfer that could not be rationalized by a change in distance or driving force. Instead, the data indicate an interfacial electron-transfer pathway that utilizes the aromatic bridge orbitals.

  17. Defect-driven interfacial electronic structures at an organic/metal-oxide semiconductor heterojunction.

    PubMed

    Winget, Paul; Schirra, Laura K; Cornil, David; Li, Hong; Coropceanu, Veaceslav; Ndione, Paul F; Sigdel, Ajaya K; Ginley, David S; Berry, Joseph J; Shim, Jaewon; Kim, Hyungchui; Kippelen, Bernard; Brédas, Jean-Luc; Monti, Oliver L A

    2014-07-16

    The electronic structure of the hybrid interface between ZnO and the prototypical organic semiconductor PTCDI is investigated via a combination of ultraviolet and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (UPS/XPS) and density functional theory (DFT) calculations. The interfacial electronic interactions lead to a large interface dipole due to substantial charge transfer from ZnO to 3,4,9,10-perylenetetracarboxylicdiimide (PTCDI), which can be properly described only when accounting for surface defects that confer ZnO its n-type properties. PMID:24830796

  18. Reversible Tuning of Interfacial and Intramolecular Charge Transfer in Individual MnPc Molecules.

    PubMed

    Zhong, Jian-Qiang; Wang, Zhunzhun; Zhang, Jia Lin; Wright, Christopher A; Yuan, Kaidi; Gu, Chengding; Tadich, Anton; Qi, Dongchen; Li, He Xing; Lai, Min; Wu, Kai; Xu, Guo Qin; Hu, Wenping; Li, Zhenyu; Chen, Wei

    2015-12-01

    The reversible selective hydrogenation and dehydrogenation of individual manganese phthalocyanine (MnPc) molecules has been investigated using photoelectron spectroscopy (PES), low-temperature scanning tunneling microscopy (LT-STM), synchrotron-based near edge X-ray absorption fine structure (NEXAFS) measurements, and supported by density functional theory (DFT) calculations. It is shown conclusively that interfacial and intramolecular charge transfer arises during the hydrogenation process. The electronic energetics upon hydrogenation is identified, enabling a greater understanding of interfacial and intramolecular charge transportation in the field of single-molecule electronics.

  19. Reversible Tuning of Interfacial and Intramolecular Charge Transfer in Individual MnPc Molecules.

    PubMed

    Zhong, Jian-Qiang; Wang, Zhunzhun; Zhang, Jia Lin; Wright, Christopher A; Yuan, Kaidi; Gu, Chengding; Tadich, Anton; Qi, Dongchen; Li, He Xing; Lai, Min; Wu, Kai; Xu, Guo Qin; Hu, Wenping; Li, Zhenyu; Chen, Wei

    2015-12-01

    The reversible selective hydrogenation and dehydrogenation of individual manganese phthalocyanine (MnPc) molecules has been investigated using photoelectron spectroscopy (PES), low-temperature scanning tunneling microscopy (LT-STM), synchrotron-based near edge X-ray absorption fine structure (NEXAFS) measurements, and supported by density functional theory (DFT) calculations. It is shown conclusively that interfacial and intramolecular charge transfer arises during the hydrogenation process. The electronic energetics upon hydrogenation is identified, enabling a greater understanding of interfacial and intramolecular charge transportation in the field of single-molecule electronics. PMID:26528623

  20. Controlled switching of single-molecule junctions by mechanical motion of a phenyl ring

    PubMed Central

    Kitaguchi, Yuya; Habuka, Satoru; Hatta, Shinichiro; Aruga, Tetsuya; Paulsson, Magnus; Ueba, Hiromu

    2015-01-01

    Summary Mechanical methods for single-molecule control have potential for wide application in nanodevices and machines. Here we demonstrate the operation of a single-molecule switch made functional by the motion of a phenyl ring, analogous to the lever in a conventional toggle switch. The switch can be actuated by dual triggers, either by a voltage pulse or by displacement of the electrode, and electronic manipulation of the ring by chemical substitution enables rational control of the on-state conductance. Owing to its simple mechanics, structural robustness, and chemical accessibility, we propose that phenyl rings are promising components in mechanical molecular devices. PMID:26665080

  1. Controlled switching of single-molecule junctions by mechanical motion of a phenyl ring.

    PubMed

    Kitaguchi, Yuya; Habuka, Satoru; Okuyama, Hiroshi; Hatta, Shinichiro; Aruga, Tetsuya; Frederiksen, Thomas; Paulsson, Magnus; Ueba, Hiromu

    2015-01-01

    Mechanical methods for single-molecule control have potential for wide application in nanodevices and machines. Here we demonstrate the operation of a single-molecule switch made functional by the motion of a phenyl ring, analogous to the lever in a conventional toggle switch. The switch can be actuated by dual triggers, either by a voltage pulse or by displacement of the electrode, and electronic manipulation of the ring by chemical substitution enables rational control of the on-state conductance. Owing to its simple mechanics, structural robustness, and chemical accessibility, we propose that phenyl rings are promising components in mechanical molecular devices. PMID:26665080

  2. Superconducting molybdenum-rhenium electrodes for single-molecule transport studies

    SciTech Connect

    Gaudenzi, R.; Island, J. O.; Bruijckere, J. de; Burzurí, E.; Zant, H. S. J. van der; Klapwijk, T. M.

    2015-06-01

    We demonstrate that electronic transport through single molecules or molecular ensembles, commonly based on gold (Au) electrodes, can be extended to superconducting electrodes by combining gold with molybdenum-rhenium (MoRe). This combination induces proximity-effect superconductivity in the gold to temperatures of at least 4.6 K and magnetic fields of 6 T, improving on previously reported aluminum based superconducting nanojunctions. As a proof of concept, we show three-terminal superconductive transport measurements through an individual Fe{sub 4} single-molecule magnet.

  3. Measurement and understanding of single-molecule break junction rectification caused by asymmetric contacts.

    PubMed

    Wang, Kun; Zhou, Jianfeng; Hamill, Joseph M; Xu, Bingqian

    2014-08-01

    The contact effects of single-molecule break junctions on rectification behaviors were experimentally explored by a systematic control of anchoring groups of 1,4-disubstituted benzene molecular junctions. Single-molecule conductance and I-V characteristic measurements reveal a strong correlation between rectifying effects and the asymmetry in contacts. Analysis using energy band models and I-V calculations suggested that the rectification behavior is mainly caused by asymmetric coupling strengths at the two contact interfaces. Fitting of the rectification ratio by a modified Simmons model we developed suggests asymmetry in potential drop across the asymmetric anchoring groups as the mechanism of rectifying I-V behavior. This study provides direct experimental evidence and sheds light on the mechanisms of rectification behavior induced simply by contact asymmetry, which serves as an aid to interpret future single-molecule electronic behavior involved with asymmetric contact conformation.

  4. Measurement and understanding of single-molecule break junction rectification caused by asymmetric contacts

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Kun; Zhou, Jianfeng; Hamill, Joseph M.; Xu, Bingqian

    2014-08-07

    The contact effects of single-molecule break junctions on rectification behaviors were experimentally explored by a systematic control of anchoring groups of 1,4-disubstituted benzene molecular junctions. Single-molecule conductance and I-V characteristic measurements reveal a strong correlation between rectifying effects and the asymmetry in contacts. Analysis using energy band models and I-V calculations suggested that the rectification behavior is mainly caused by asymmetric coupling strengths at the two contact interfaces. Fitting of the rectification ratio by a modified Simmons model we developed suggests asymmetry in potential drop across the asymmetric anchoring groups as the mechanism of rectifying I-V behavior. This study provides direct experimental evidence and sheds light on the mechanisms of rectification behavior induced simply by contact asymmetry, which serves as an aid to interpret future single-molecule electronic behavior involved with asymmetric contact conformation.

  5. Gap size dependent transition from direct tunneling to field emission in single molecule junctions.

    PubMed

    Xiang, Dong; Zhang, Yi; Pyatkov, Feliks; Offenhäusser, Andreas; Mayer, Dirk

    2011-04-28

    I/V characteristics recorded in mechanically controllable break junctions revealed that field emission transport is enhanced in single molecule junctions as the gap size between two nanoelectrodes is reduced. This observation indicates that Fowler-Nordheim tunneling occurs not only for intermolecular but also for intramolecular electron transport driven by a reduced energy barrier at short tunneling distances.

  6. Probing interfacial electron dynamics with time-resolved X-ray spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neppl, Stefan

    2015-05-01

    Time-resolved core-level spectroscopy techniques using laser pulses to initiate and short X-ray pulses to probe photo-induced processes have the potential to provide electronic state- and atomic site-specific insight into fundamental electron dynamics at complex interfaces. We describe the implementation of femto- and picosecond time-resolved photoelectron spectroscopy at the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) and at the Advanced Light Source (ALS) in order to follow light-driven electron dynamics at dye-semiconductor interfaces on femto- to nanosecond timescales, and from the perspective of individual atomic sites. A distinct transient binding-energy shift of the Ru3d photoemission lines originating from the metal centers of N3 dye-molecules adsorbed on nanoporous ZnO is observed 500 fs after resonant HOMO-LUMO excitation with a visible laser pulse. This dynamical chemical shift is accompanied by a characteristic surface photo-voltage response of the semiconductor substrate. The two phenomena and their correlation will be discussed in the context of electronic bottlenecks for efficient interfacial charge-transfer and possible charge recombination and relaxation pathways leading to the neutralization of the transiently oxidized dye following ultrafast electron injection. First steps towards in operando time-resolved X-ray absorption spectroscopy techniques to monitor interfacial chemical dynamics will be presented.

  7. Single-molecule detection: applications to ultrasensitive biochemical analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castro, Alonso; Shera, E. Brooks

    1995-06-01

    Recent developments in laser-based detection of fluorescent molecules have made possible the implementation of very sensitive techniques for biochemical analysis. We present and discuss our experiments on the applications of our recently developed technique of single-molecule detection to the analysis of molecules of biological interest. These newly developed methods are capable of detecting and identifying biomolecules at the single-molecule level of sensitivity. In one case, identification is based on measuring fluorescence brightness from single molecules. In another, molecules are classified by determining their electrophoretic velocities.

  8. Single-molecule Measurements of DNA Topology and Topoisomerases*

    PubMed Central

    Neuman, Keir C.

    2010-01-01

    Topological properties of DNA influence its mechanical and biochemical interactions. Genomic DNA is maintained in a state of topological homeostasis by topoisomerases and is subjected to mechanical stress arising from replication and segregation. Despite their fundamental roles, the effects of topology and force have been difficult to ascertain. Developments in single-molecule manipulation techniques have enabled precise control and measurement of the topology of individual DNA molecules under tension. This minireview provides an overview of these single-molecule techniques and illustrates their unique capabilities through a number of specific examples of single-molecule measurements of DNA topology and topoisomerase activity. PMID:20382732

  9. Reversible Aptamer-Au Plasmon Rulers for Secreted Single Molecules.

    PubMed

    Lee, Somin Eunice; Chen, Qian; Bhat, Ramray; Petkiewicz, Shayne; Smith, Jessica M; Ferry, Vivian E; Correia, Ana Luisa; Alivisatos, A Paul; Bissell, Mina J

    2015-07-01

    Plasmon rulers, consisting of pairs of gold nanoparticles, allow single-molecule analysis without photobleaching or blinking; however, current plasmon rulers are irreversible, restricting detection to only single events. Here, we present a reversible plasmon ruler, comprised of coupled gold nanoparticles linked by a single aptamer, capable of binding individual secreted molecules with high specificity. We show that the binding of target secreted molecules to the reversible plasmon ruler is characterized by single-molecule sensitivity, high specificity, and reversibility. Such reversible plasmon rulers should enable dynamic and adaptive live-cell measurement of secreted single molecules in their local microenvironment.

  10. Reversible Aptamer-Au Plasmon Rulers for Secreted Single Molecules

    DOE PAGES

    Lee, Somin Eunice; Chen, Qian; Bhat, Ramray; Petkiewicz, Shayne; Smith, Jessica M.; Ferry, Vivian E.; Correia, Ana Luisa; Alivisatos, A. Paul; Bissell, Mina J.

    2015-06-03

    Plasmon rulers, consisting of pairs of gold nanoparticles, allow single-molecule analysis without photobleaching or blinking; however, current plasmon rulers are irreversible, restricting detection to only single events. Here, we present a reversible plasmon ruler, comprised of coupled gold nanoparticles linked by a single aptamer, capable of binding individual secreted molecules with high specificity. We show that the binding of target secreted molecules to the reversible plasmon ruler is characterized by single-molecule sensitivity, high specificity, and reversibility. Lastly, such reversible plasmon rulers should enable dynamic and adaptive live-cell measurement of secreted single molecules in their local microenvironment.

  11. Single-molecule imaging at high hydrostatic pressure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vass, Hugh; Lucas Black, S.; Flors, Cristina; Lloyd, Diarmuid; Bruce Ward, F.; Allen, Rosalind J.

    2013-04-01

    Direct microscopic fluorescence imaging of single molecules can provide a wealth of mechanistic information, but up to now, it has not been possible under high pressure conditions, due to limitations in microscope pressure cell design. We describe a pressure cell window design that makes it possible to image directly single molecules at high hydrostatic pressure. We demonstrate our design by imaging single molecules of Alexa Fluor 647 dye bound to DNA, at 120 and 210 bar, and following their fluorescence photodynamics. We further show that the failure pressure of this type of pressure cell window can be in excess of 1 kbar.

  12. Experimental demonstration of a single-molecule electric motor.

    PubMed

    Tierney, Heather L; Murphy, Colin J; Jewell, April D; Baber, Ashleigh E; Iski, Erin V; Khodaverdian, Harout Y; McGuire, Allister F; Klebanov, Nikolai; Sykes, E Charles H

    2011-10-01

    For molecules to be used as components in molecular machines, methods that couple individual molecules to external energy sources and that selectively excite motion in a given direction are required. Significant progress has been made in the construction of molecular motors powered by light and by chemical reactions, but electrically driven motors have not yet been built, despite several theoretical proposals for such motors. Here we report that a butyl methyl sulphide molecule adsorbed on a copper surface can be operated as a single-molecule electric motor. Electrons from a scanning tunnelling microscope are used to drive the directional motion of the molecule in a two-terminal setup. Moreover, the temperature and electron flux can be adjusted to allow each rotational event to be monitored at the molecular scale in real time. The direction and rate of the rotation are related to the chiralities of both the molecule and the tip of the microscope (which serves as the electrode), illustrating the importance of the symmetry of the metal contacts in atomic-scale electrical devices. PMID:21892165

  13. Real-time single-molecule imaging of quantum interference.

    PubMed

    Juffmann, Thomas; Milic, Adriana; Müllneritsch, Michael; Asenbaum, Peter; Tsukernik, Alexander; Tüxen, Jens; Mayor, Marcel; Cheshnovsky, Ori; Arndt, Markus

    2012-03-25

    The observation of interference patterns in double-slit experiments with massive particles is generally regarded as the ultimate demonstration of the quantum nature of these objects. Such matter-wave interference has been observed for electrons, neutrons, atoms and molecules and, in contrast to classical physics, quantum interference can be observed when single particles arrive at the detector one by one. The build-up of such patterns in experiments with electrons has been described as the "most beautiful experiment in physics". Here, we show how a combination of nanofabrication and nano-imaging allows us to record the full two-dimensional build-up of quantum interference patterns in real time for phthalocyanine molecules and for derivatives of phthalocyanine molecules, which have masses of 514 AMU and 1,298 AMU respectively. A laser-controlled micro-evaporation source was used to produce a beam of molecules with the required intensity and coherence, and the gratings were machined in 10-nm-thick silicon nitride membranes to reduce the effect of van der Waals forces. Wide-field fluorescence microscopy detected the position of each molecule with an accuracy of 10 nm and revealed the build-up of a deterministic ensemble interference pattern from single molecules that arrived stochastically at the detector. In addition to providing this particularly clear demonstration of wave-particle duality, our approach could also be used to study larger molecules and explore the boundary between quantum and classical physics.

  14. Interfacial electron transfer dynamics of ru(II)-polypy6ridine sensitized TiO2

    SciTech Connect

    Jakubikova, Elena; Martin, Richard L; Batista, Enrique R; Snoeberger, Robert C; Batista, Victor S

    2009-01-01

    Quantum dynamics simulations combined with density functional theory calculations are applied to study interfacial electron transfer (IET) from pyridine-4-phosphonic acid, [Ru(tpy)(tpy(PO{sub 3}H{sub 2}))]{sup 2+} and [Ru(tpy)(bpy)(H{sub 2}O)-Ru(tpy)(tpy(PO{sub 3}H{sub 2}))]{sup 4+} into the (101) surface of anatase TiO{sub 2}. IET rate from pyridine-4-phosphonic acid attached to the nanoparticle in bidentate mode ({tau} {approx} 100 fs) is an order of magnitude faster than the IET rate of the adsorbate attached in the monodentate mode ({tau} {approx} 1 ps). Upon excitation with visible light, [Ru(tpy)(tpy(PO{sub 3}H{sub 2}))]{sup 2+} attached to TiO{sub 2} in bidentate binding mode will undergo IET with the rate of {approx} 1-10 ps, which is competitive with the excited state decay into the ground state. The probability of electron injection from [Ru(tpy)(bpy)(H{sub 2}O)-Ru(tpy)(tpy(PO{sub 3}H{sub 2}))]{sup 4+} is rather low, as the excitation with visible light localizes the excited electron in the tpy-tpy bridge, which does not have favorable coupling with the TiO{sub 2} nanoparticle. The results are relevant to better understanding of the adsorbate features important for promoting efficient interfacial electron transfer into the semiconductor.

  15. Interfacial valence electron localization and the corrosion resistance of Al-SiC nanocomposite

    PubMed Central

    Mosleh-Shirazi, Sareh; Hua, Guomin; Akhlaghi, Farshad; Yan, Xianguo; Li, Dongyang

    2015-01-01

    Microstructural inhomogeneity generally deteriorates the corrosion resistance of materials due to the galvanic effect and interfacial issues. However, the situation may change for nanostructured materials. This article reports our studies on the corrosion behavior of SiC nanoparticle-reinforced Al6061 matrix composite. It was observed that the corrosion resistance of Al6061 increased when SiC nanoparticles were added. Overall electron work function (EWF) of the Al-SiC nanocomposite increased, along with an increase in the corrosion potential. The electron localization function of the Al-SiC nanocomposite was calculated and the results revealed that valence electrons were localized in the region of SiC-Al interface, resulting in an increase in the overall work function and thus building a higher barrier to hinder electrons in the nano-composite to participate in corrosion reactions. PMID:26667968

  16. Negative differential conductance and super-Poissonian shot noise in single-molecule magnet junctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xue, Hai-Bin; Liang, Jiu-Qing; Liu, Wu-Ming

    2015-03-01

    Molecular spintroinic device based on a single-molecule magnet is one of the ultimate goals of semiconductor nanofabrication technologies. It is thus necessary to understand the electron transport properties of a single-molecule magnet junction. Here we study the negative differential conductance and super-Poissonian shot noise properties of electron transport through a single-molecule magnet weakly coupled to two electrodes with either one or both of them being ferromagnetic. We predict that the negative differential conductance and super-Poissonian shot noise, which can be tuned by a gate voltage, depend sensitively on the spin polarization of the source and drain electrodes. In particular, the shot noise in the negative differential conductance region can be enhanced or decreased originating from the different formation mechanisms of negative differential conductance. The effective competition between fast and slow transport channels is responsible for the observed negative differential conductance and super-Poissonian shot noise. In addition, we further discuss the skewness and kurtosis properties of transport current in the super-Poissonian shot noise regions. Our findings suggest a tunable negative differential conductance molecular device, and the predicted properties of high-order current cumulants are very interesting for a better understanding of electron transport through single-molecule magnet junctions.

  17. Negative differential conductance and super-Poissonian shot noise in single-molecule magnet junctions

    PubMed Central

    Xue, Hai-Bin; Liang, Jiu-Qing; Liu, Wu-Ming

    2015-01-01

    Molecular spintroinic device based on a single-molecule magnet is one of the ultimate goals of semiconductor nanofabrication technologies. It is thus necessary to understand the electron transport properties of a single-molecule magnet junction. Here we study the negative differential conductance and super-Poissonian shot noise properties of electron transport through a single-molecule magnet weakly coupled to two electrodes with either one or both of them being ferromagnetic. We predict that the negative differential conductance and super-Poissonian shot noise, which can be tuned by a gate voltage, depend sensitively on the spin polarization of the source and drain electrodes. In particular, the shot noise in the negative differential conductance region can be enhanced or decreased originating from the different formation mechanisms of negative differential conductance. The effective competition between fast and slow transport channels is responsible for the observed negative differential conductance and super-Poissonian shot noise. In addition, we further discuss the skewness and kurtosis properties of transport current in the super-Poissonian shot noise regions. Our findings suggest a tunable negative differential conductance molecular device, and the predicted properties of high-order current cumulants are very interesting for a better understanding of electron transport through single-molecule magnet junctions. PMID:25736094

  18. Large Conductance Switching in a Single-Molecule Device through Room Temperature Spin-Dependent Transport.

    PubMed

    Aragonès, Albert C; Aravena, Daniel; Cerdá, Jorge I; Acís-Castillo, Zulema; Li, Haipeng; Real, José Antonio; Sanz, Fausto; Hihath, Josh; Ruiz, Eliseo; Díez-Pérez, Ismael

    2016-01-13

    Controlling the spin of electrons in nanoscale electronic devices is one of the most promising topics aiming at developing devices with rapid and high density information storage capabilities. The interface magnetism or spinterface resulting from the interaction between a magnetic molecule and a metal surface, or vice versa, has become a key ingredient in creating nanoscale molecular devices with novel functionalities. Here, we present a single-molecule wire that displays large (>10000%) conductance switching by controlling the spin-dependent transport under ambient conditions (room temperature in a liquid cell). The molecular wire is built by trapping individual spin crossover Fe(II) complexes between one Au electrode and one ferromagnetic Ni electrode in an organic liquid medium. Large changes in the single-molecule conductance (>100-fold) are measured when the electrons flow from the Au electrode to either an α-up or a β-down spin-polarized Ni electrode. Our calculations show that the current flowing through such an interface appears to be strongly spin-polarized, thus resulting in the observed switching of the single-molecule wire conductance. The observation of such a high spin-dependent conductance switching in a single-molecule wire opens up a new door for the design and control of spin-polarized transport in nanoscale molecular devices at room temperature. PMID:26675052

  19. Approaching the single molecule. Interview by Kristie Nybo.

    PubMed

    Soloway, Paul

    2013-04-01

    Paul Soloway's development of single molecule approaches to study epigenetics caught our attention. Curious to know more, BioTechniques contacted him to find out about the ambition, character, and motivation that led to his success.

  20. Computer systems for annotation of single molecule fragments

    DOEpatents

    Schwartz, David Charles; Severin, Jessica

    2016-07-19

    There are provided computer systems for visualizing and annotating single molecule images. Annotation systems in accordance with this disclosure allow a user to mark and annotate single molecules of interest and their restriction enzyme cut sites thereby determining the restriction fragments of single nucleic acid molecules. The markings and annotations may be automatically generated by the system in certain embodiments and they may be overlaid translucently onto the single molecule images. An image caching system may be implemented in the computer annotation systems to reduce image processing time. The annotation systems include one or more connectors connecting to one or more databases capable of storing single molecule data as well as other biomedical data. Such diverse array of data can be retrieved and used to validate the markings and annotations. The annotation systems may be implemented and deployed over a computer network. They may be ergonomically optimized to facilitate user interactions.

  1. Understanding Enzyme Activity Using Single Molecule Tracking (Poster)

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, Y.-S.; Zeng, Y.; Luo, Y.; Xu, Q.; Himmel, M.; Smith S.; Wei, H.; Ding, S.-Y.

    2009-06-01

    This poster describes single-molecule tracking and total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy. It discusses whether the carbohydrate-binding module (CBM) moves on cellulose, how the CBM binds to cellulose, and the mechanism of cellulosome assembly.

  2. Single-molecule localization software applied to photon counting imaging.

    PubMed

    Hirvonen, Liisa M; Kilfeather, Tiffany; Suhling, Klaus

    2015-06-01

    Centroiding in photon counting imaging has traditionally been accomplished by a single-step, noniterative algorithm, often implemented in hardware. Single-molecule localization techniques in superresolution fluorescence microscopy are conceptually similar, but use more sophisticated iterative software-based fitting algorithms to localize the fluorophore. Here, we discuss common features and differences between single-molecule localization and photon counting imaging and investigate the suitability of single-molecule localization software for photon event localization. We find that single-molecule localization software packages designed for superresolution microscopy-QuickPALM, rapidSTORM, and ThunderSTORM-can work well when applied to photon counting imaging with a microchannel-plate-based intensified camera system: photon event recognition can be excellent, fixed pattern noise can be low, and the microchannel plate pores can easily be resolved. PMID:26192667

  3. Single-molecule localization software applied to photon counting imaging.

    PubMed

    Hirvonen, Liisa M; Kilfeather, Tiffany; Suhling, Klaus

    2015-06-01

    Centroiding in photon counting imaging has traditionally been accomplished by a single-step, noniterative algorithm, often implemented in hardware. Single-molecule localization techniques in superresolution fluorescence microscopy are conceptually similar, but use more sophisticated iterative software-based fitting algorithms to localize the fluorophore. Here, we discuss common features and differences between single-molecule localization and photon counting imaging and investigate the suitability of single-molecule localization software for photon event localization. We find that single-molecule localization software packages designed for superresolution microscopy-QuickPALM, rapidSTORM, and ThunderSTORM-can work well when applied to photon counting imaging with a microchannel-plate-based intensified camera system: photon event recognition can be excellent, fixed pattern noise can be low, and the microchannel plate pores can easily be resolved.

  4. Probing molecular choreography through single-molecule biochemistry.

    PubMed

    van Oijen, Antoine M; Dixon, Nicholas E

    2015-12-01

    Single-molecule approaches are having a dramatic impact on views of how proteins work. The ability to observe molecular properties at the single-molecule level allows characterization of subpopulations and acquisition of detailed kinetic information that would otherwise be hidden in the averaging over an ensemble of molecules. In this Perspective, we discuss how such approaches have successfully been applied to in vitro-reconstituted systems of increasing complexity.

  5. An Improved Surface Passivation Method for Single-Molecule Studies

    PubMed Central

    Hua, Boyang; Young Han, Kyu; Zhou, Ruobo; Kim, Hajin; Shi, Xinghua; Abeysirigunawardena, Sanjaya C.; Jain, Ankur; Singh, Digvijay; Aggarwal, Vasudha; Woodson, Sarah A.; Ha, Taekjip

    2014-01-01

    We herein report a surface passivation method for in vitro single-molecule studies, which more efficiently prevents non-specific binding of biomolecules as compared to the polyethylene glycol surface. The new surface does not perturb the behavior and activities of tethered biomolecules. It can also be used for single-molecule imaging in the presence of high concentrations of labeled species in solution. Reduction in preparation time and cost is another major advantage. PMID:25306544

  6. Passive water-lipid peptide translocators with conformational switches: from single-molecule probe to cellular assay.

    PubMed

    Fernández, Ariel; Crespo, Alejandro; Blau, Axel

    2007-12-20

    Peptide design for unassisted passive water-lipid translocation remains a challenge, notwithstanding its importance for drug delivery. We introduce a design paradigm based on conformational switches operating as passive translocation vehicles. The interfacial behavior of the molecular prototype, probed in single-molecule AFM experiments, reveals a near-barrierless translocation. The associated free-energy agrees with mesoscopic measurements, and the in vitro behavior is quantitatively reproduced in cellular assays. The prototypes herald the advent of novel nanobiomaterials for passive translocation.

  7. Developing DNA nanotechnology using single-molecule fluorescence.

    PubMed

    Tsukanov, Roman; Tomov, Toma E; Liber, Miran; Berger, Yaron; Nir, Eyal

    2014-06-17

    CONSPECTUS: An important effort in the DNA nanotechnology field is focused on the rational design and manufacture of molecular structures and dynamic devices made of DNA. As is the case for other technologies that deal with manipulation of matter, rational development requires high quality and informative feedback on the building blocks and final products. For DNA nanotechnology such feedback is typically provided by gel electrophoresis, atomic force microscopy (AFM), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). These analytical tools provide excellent structural information; however, usually they do not provide high-resolution dynamic information. For the development of DNA-made dynamic devices such as machines, motors, robots, and computers this constitutes a major problem. Bulk-fluorescence techniques are capable of providing dynamic information, but because only ensemble averaged information is obtained, the technique may not adequately describe the dynamics in the context of complex DNA devices. The single-molecule fluorescence (SMF) technique offers a unique combination of capabilities that make it an excellent tool for guiding the development of DNA-made devices. The technique has been increasingly used in DNA nanotechnology, especially for the analysis of structure, dynamics, integrity, and operation of DNA-made devices; however, its capabilities are not yet sufficiently familiar to the community. The purpose of this Account is to demonstrate how different SMF tools can be utilized for the development of DNA devices and for structural dynamic investigation of biomolecules in general and DNA molecules in particular. Single-molecule diffusion-based Förster resonance energy transfer and alternating laser excitation (sm-FRET/ALEX) and immobilization-based total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) techniques are briefly described and demonstrated. To illustrate the many applications of SMF to DNA nanotechnology, examples of SMF studies of DNA hairpins and

  8. Gold plasmonic effects on charge transport through single molecule junctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adak, Olgun; Venkataraman, Latha

    2014-03-01

    We study the impact of surface plasmon polaritons, the coupling of electromagnetic waves to collective electron oscillations on metal surfaces, on the conductance of single-molecule junctions. We use a scanning-tunneling microscope based break junction setup that is built into an optical microscope to form molecular junctions. Coherent 685nm light is used to illuminate the molecular junctions formed with 4,4'-bipyridine with diffraction limited focusing performance. We employ a lock-in type technique to measure currents induced by light. Furthermore, the thermal expansion due to laser heating is mimicked by mechanically modulating inter-electrode separation. For each junction studied, we measure current, and use AC techniques to determine molecular junction resonance levels and coupling strengths. We use a cross correlations analysis technique to analyze and compare the effect of light to that of the mechanical modulation. Our results show that junction transmission characteristics are not altered under illumination, within the resolution of our instrument. We argue that photo-currents measured with lock-in techniques in these kinds of structures are due to thermal effects. This work was funded by the Center for Re-Defining Photovoltaic Efficiency through Molecule Scale Control, an EFRC funded by the US Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences under Contract No. DESC0001085.

  9. Mapping the Transmission Functions of Single-Molecule Junctions.

    PubMed

    Capozzi, Brian; Low, Jonathan Z; Xia, Jianlong; Liu, Zhen-Fei; Neaton, Jeffrey B; Campos, Luis M; Venkataraman, Latha

    2016-06-01

    Charge transport phenomena in single-molecule junctions are often dominated by tunneling, with a transmission function dictating the probability that electrons or holes tunnel through the junction. Here, we present a new and simple technique for measuring the transmission functions of molecular junctions in the coherent tunneling limit, over an energy range of 1.5 eV around the Fermi energy. We create molecular junctions in an ionic environment with electrodes having different exposed areas, which results in the formation of electric double layers of dissimilar density on the two electrodes. This allows us to electrostatically shift the molecular resonance relative to the junction Fermi levels in a manner that depends on the sign of the applied bias, enabling us to map out the junction's transmission function and determine the dominant orbital for charge transport in the molecular junction. We demonstrate this technique using two groups of molecules: one group having molecular resonance energies relatively far from EF and one group having molecular resonance energies within the accessible bias window. Our results compare well with previous electrochemical gating data and with transmission functions computed from first principles. Furthermore, with the second group of molecules, we are able to examine the behavior of a molecular junction as a resonance shifts into the bias window. This work provides a new, experimentally simple route for exploring the fundamentals of charge transport at the nanoscale. PMID:27186894

  10. Developing Single-Molecule Technique with Microsecond Resolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akhterov, Maxim V.

    Molecular machines like proteins are responsible for many regulatory and catalytic functions. Specifically, molecular motions of proteins and their flexibility determine conformational states required for enzyme catalysis, signal transduction, and protein-protein interactions. However, the mechanisms for protein transitions between conformational states are often poorly understood, especially in the milli- to microsecond ranges where conventional optical techniques and computational modeling are most limited. This work describes development of an electronic single-molecule technique for monitoring microsecond motions of biological molecules. Dynamic changes of conductance through a transistor made of a single-walled carbon nanotube (SWNT-FET) report conformational changes of a protein molecule tethered to the SWNT sidewall. In principle, the high operating speed of SWNT-FETs could allow this technique to resolve molecular events with nanosecond resolution. This project focused on improving the technique to a 200 kHz effective bandwidth in order to resolve microsecond-scale dynamics. The improvement was achieved with a home-built electrochemical flow cell. By minimizing parasitic capacitance due to liquid coupling to electrodes and eliminating noise pickup, the flow cell enabled low-noise, high bandwidth measurement of molecular events as short as 2 mus. The apparatus was used to observe closing and opening motions of lysozyme. Preliminary results suggest that lysozyme has a distribution of possible velocities with the most probable speed approaching our experimental resolution of 2 mus.

  11. Quantum dots for quantitative imaging: from single molecules to tissue

    PubMed Central

    Vu, Tania Q.; Lam, Wai Yan; Hatch, Ellen W.; Lidke, Diane S.

    2015-01-01

    Since their introduction to biological imaging, quantum dots (QDs) have progressed from a little known, but attractive technology to one that has gained broad application in many areas of biology. The versatile properties of these fluorescent nanoparticles have allowed investigators to conduct biological studies with extended spatiotemporal capabilities that were previously not possible. In this review, we focus on QD applications that provide enhanced quantitative information on protein dynamics and localization, including single particle tracking (SPT) and immunohistochemistry (IHC), and finish by examining prospects of upcoming applications, such as correlative light and electron microscopy (CLEM) and super-resolution. Advances in single molecule imaging, including multi-color and 3D QD tracking, have provided new insights into the mechanisms of cell signaling and protein trafficking. New forms of QD tracking in vivo have allowed for observation of biological processes with molecular level resolution in the physiological context of the whole animal. Further methodological development of multiplexed QD-based immunohistochemistry assays are allowing more quantitative analysis of key proteins in tissue samples. These advances highlight the unique quantitative data sets that QDs can provide to further our understanding of biological and disease processes. PMID:25620410

  12. Single-molecule diodes with high rectification ratios through environmental control.

    PubMed

    Capozzi, Brian; Xia, Jianlong; Adak, Olgun; Dell, Emma J; Liu, Zhen-Fei; Taylor, Jeffrey C; Neaton, Jeffrey B; Campos, Luis M; Venkataraman, Latha

    2015-06-01

    Molecular electronics aims to miniaturize electronic devices by using subnanometre-scale active components. A single-molecule diode, a circuit element that directs current flow, was first proposed more than 40 years ago and consisted of an asymmetric molecule comprising a donor-bridge-acceptor architecture to mimic a semiconductor p-n junction. Several single-molecule diodes have since been realized in junctions featuring asymmetric molecular backbones, molecule-electrode linkers or electrode materials. Despite these advances, molecular diodes have had limited potential for applications due to their low conductance, low rectification ratios, extreme sensitivity to the junction structure and high operating voltages. Here, we demonstrate a powerful approach to induce current rectification in symmetric single-molecule junctions using two electrodes of the same metal, but breaking symmetry by exposing considerably different electrode areas to an ionic solution. This allows us to control the junction's electrostatic environment in an asymmetric fashion by simply changing the bias polarity. With this method, we reliably and reproducibly achieve rectification ratios in excess of 200 at voltages as low as 370 mV using a symmetric oligomer of thiophene-1,1-dioxide. By taking advantage of the changes in the junction environment induced by the presence of an ionic solution, this method provides a general route for tuning nonlinear nanoscale device phenomena, which could potentially be applied in systems beyond single-molecule junctions.

  13. Single-Molecule Conductance of Viologen-Cucurbit[8]uril Host-Guest Complexes.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Wei; Gan, Shiyu; Vezzoli, Andrea; Davidson, Ross J; Milan, David C; Luzyanin, Konstantin V; Higgins, Simon J; Nichols, Richard J; Beeby, Andrew; Low, Paul J; Li, Buyi; Niu, Li

    2016-05-24

    The local molecular environment is a critical factor which should be taken into account when measuring single-molecule electrical properties in condensed media or in the design of future molecular electronic or single molecule sensing devices. Supramolecular interactions can be used to control the local environment in molecular assemblies and have been used to create microenvironments, for instance, for chemical reactions. Here, we use supramolecular interactions to create microenvironments which influence the electrical conductance of single molecule wires. Cucurbit[8]uril (CB[8]) with a large hydrophobic cavity was used to host the viologen (bipyridinium) molecular wires forming a 1:1 supramolecular complex. Significant increases in the viologen wire single molecule conductances are observed when it is threaded into CB[8] due to large changes of the molecular microenvironment. The results were interpreted within the framework of a Marcus-type model for electron transfer as arising from a reduction in outer-sphere reorganization energy when the viologen is confined within the hydrophobic CB[8] cavity. PMID:27055002

  14. Monitoring Single-Molecule Protein Dynamics with a Carbon Nanotube Transistor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Collins, Philip G.

    2014-03-01

    Nanoscale electronic devices like field-effect transistors have long promised to provide sensitive, label-free detection of biomolecules. Single-walled carbon nanotubes press this concept further by not just detecting molecules but also monitoring their dynamics in real time. Recent measurements have demonstrated this premise by monitoring the single-molecule processivity of three different enzymes: lysozyme, protein Kinase A, and the Klenow fragment of DNA polymerase I. With all three enzymes, single molecules tethered to nanotube transistors were electronically monitored for 10 or more minutes, allowing us to directly observe a range of activity including rare transitions to chemically inactive and hyperactive conformations. The high bandwidth of the nanotube transistors further allow every individual chemical event to be clearly resolved, providing excellent statistics from tens of thousands of turnovers by a single enzyme. Initial success with three different enzymes indicates the generality and attractiveness of the nanotube devices as a new tool to complement other single-molecule techniques. Research on transduction mechanisms provides the design rules necessary to further generalize this architecture and apply it to other proteins. The purposeful incorporation of just one amino acid is sufficient to fabricate effective, single molecule sensors from a wide range of enzymes or proteins.

  15. Optical spectroscopy of the bulk and interfacial hydrated electron from ab initio calculations.

    PubMed

    Uhlig, Frank; Herbert, John M; Coons, Marc P; Jungwirth, Pavel

    2014-09-01

    The optical spectrum of the hydrated (aqueous) electron, e(aq)(–), is the primary observable by means of which this species is detected, monitored, and studied. In theoretical calculations, this spectrum has most often been simulated using one-electron models. Here, we present ab initio simulations of that spectrum in both bulk water and, for the first time, at the water/vapor interface, using density functional theory and its time-dependent variant. Our results indicate that this approach provides a reliable description, and quantitative agreement with the experimental spectrum for the bulk species is obtained using a “tuned” long-range corrected functional. The spectrum of the interfacial electron is found to be very similar to the bulk spectrum.

  16. Redox-Dependent Franck-Condon Blockade and Avalanche Transport in a Graphene-Fullerene Single-Molecule Transistor.

    PubMed

    Lau, Chit Siong; Sadeghi, Hatef; Rogers, Gregory; Sangtarash, Sara; Dallas, Panagiotis; Porfyrakis, Kyriakos; Warner, Jamie; Lambert, Colin J; Briggs, G Andrew D; Mol, Jan A

    2016-01-13

    We report transport measurements on a graphene-fullerene single-molecule transistor. The device architecture where a functionalized C60 binds to graphene nanoelectrodes results in strong electron-vibron coupling and weak vibron relaxation. Using a combined approach of transport spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and DFT calculations, we demonstrate center-of-mass oscillations, redox-dependent Franck-Condon blockade, and a transport regime characterized by avalanche tunnelling in a single-molecule transistor.

  17. Fluorinated copper phthalocyanine nanowires for enhancing interfacial electron transport in organic solar cells.

    PubMed

    Yoon, Seok Min; Lou, Sylvia J; Loser, Stephen; Smith, Jeremy; Chen, Lin X; Facchetti, Antonio; Marks, Tobin J; Marks, Tobin

    2012-12-12

    Zinc oxide is a promising candidate as an interfacial layer (IFL) in inverted organic photovoltaic (OPV) cells due to the n-type semiconducting properties as well as chemical and environmental stability. Such ZnO layers collect electrons at the transparent electrode, typically indium tin oxide (ITO). However, the significant resistivity of ZnO IFLs and an energetic mismatch between the ZnO and the ITO layers hinder optimum charge collection. Here we report that inserting nanoscopic copper hexadecafluorophthalocyanine (F(16)CuPc) layers, as thin films or nanowires, between the ITO anode and the ZnO IFL increases OPV performance by enhancing interfacial electron transport. In inverted P3HT:PC(61)BM cells, insertion of F(16)CuPc nanowires increases the short circuit current density (J(sc)) versus cells with only ZnO layers, yielding an enhanced power conversion efficiency (PCE) of ∼3.6% vs ∼3.0% for a control without the nanowire layer. Similar effects are observed for inverted PTB7:PC(71)BM cells where the PCE is increased from 8.1% to 8.6%. X-ray scattering, optical, and electrical measurements indicate that the performance enhancement is ascribable to both favorable alignment of the nanowire π-π stacking axes parallel to the photocurrent flow and to the increased interfacial layer-active layer contact area. These findings identify a promising strategy to enhance inverted OPV performance by inserting anisotropic nanostructures with π-π stacking aligned in the photocurrent flow direction.

  18. Single-molecule designs for electric switches and rectifiers.

    PubMed

    Kornilovitch, Pavel; Bratkovsky, Alexander; Williams, Stanley

    2003-12-01

    A design for molecular rectifiers is proposed. Current rectification is based on the spatial asymmetry of a molecule and requires only one resonant conducting molecular orbital. Rectification is caused by asymmetric coupling of the orbital to the electrodes, which results in asymmetric movement of the two Fermi levels with respect to the orbital under external bias. Results from numerical studies of the family of suggested molecular rectifiers, HS-(CH(2))(n)-C(6)H(4)(CH(2))(m)SH, are presented. Current rectification ratios in excess of 100 are achievable for n = 2 and m > 6. A class of bistable stator-rotor molecules is proposed. The stationary part connects the two electrodes and facilitates electron transport between them. The rotary part, which has a large dipole moment, is attached to an atom of the stator via a single sigma bond. Electrostatic bonds formed between the oxygen atom of the rotor and hydrogen atoms of the stator make the symmetric orientation of the dipole unstable. The rotor has two potential minima with equal energy for rotation about the sigma bond. The dipole can be flipped between the two states by an external electric field. Both rotor-orientation states have asymmetric current-voltage characteristics that are the reverse of each other, so they are distinguishable electrically. Theoretical results on conformation, energy barriers, retention times, switching voltages, and current-voltage characteristics are presented for a particular stator-rotor molecule. Such molecules could be the base for single-molecule switches, reversible diodes, and other molecular electronic devices.

  19. Fluorescent Biosensors Based on Single-Molecule Counting.

    PubMed

    Ma, Fei; Li, Ying; Tang, Bo; Zhang, Chun-Yang

    2016-09-20

    Biosensors for highly sensitive, selective, and rapid quantification of specific biomolecules make great contributions to biomedical research, especially molecular diagnostics. However, conventional methods for biomolecular assays often suffer from insufficient sensitivity and poor specificity. In some case (e.g., early disease diagnostics), the concentration of target biomolecules is too low to be detected by these routine approaches, and cumbersome procedures are needed to improve the detection sensitivity. Therefore, there is an urgent need for rapid and ultrasensitive analytical tools. In this respect, single-molecule fluorescence approaches may well satisfy the requirement and hold promising potential for the development of ultrasensitive biosensors. Encouragingly, owing to the advances in single-molecule microscopy and spectroscopy over past decades, the detection of single fluorescent molecule comes true, greatly boosting the development of highly sensitive biosensors. By in vitro/in vivo labeling of target biomolecules with proper fluorescent tags, the quantification of certain biomolecule at the single-molecule level is achieved. In comparison with conventional ensemble measurements, single-molecule detection-based analytical methods possess the advantages of ultrahigh sensitivity, good selectivity, rapid analysis time, and low sample consumption. Consequently, single-molecule detection may be potentially employed as an ideal analytical approach to quantify low-abundant biomolecules with rapidity and simplicity. In this Account, we will summarize our efforts for developing a series of ultrasensitive biosensors based on single-molecule counting. Single-molecule counting is a member of single-molecule detection technologies and may be used as a very simple and ultrasensitive method to quantify target molecules by simply counting the individual fluorescent bursts. In the fluorescent sensors, the signals of target biomolecules may be translated to the

  20. Fluorescent Biosensors Based on Single-Molecule Counting.

    PubMed

    Ma, Fei; Li, Ying; Tang, Bo; Zhang, Chun-Yang

    2016-09-20

    Biosensors for highly sensitive, selective, and rapid quantification of specific biomolecules make great contributions to biomedical research, especially molecular diagnostics. However, conventional methods for biomolecular assays often suffer from insufficient sensitivity and poor specificity. In some case (e.g., early disease diagnostics), the concentration of target biomolecules is too low to be detected by these routine approaches, and cumbersome procedures are needed to improve the detection sensitivity. Therefore, there is an urgent need for rapid and ultrasensitive analytical tools. In this respect, single-molecule fluorescence approaches may well satisfy the requirement and hold promising potential for the development of ultrasensitive biosensors. Encouragingly, owing to the advances in single-molecule microscopy and spectroscopy over past decades, the detection of single fluorescent molecule comes true, greatly boosting the development of highly sensitive biosensors. By in vitro/in vivo labeling of target biomolecules with proper fluorescent tags, the quantification of certain biomolecule at the single-molecule level is achieved. In comparison with conventional ensemble measurements, single-molecule detection-based analytical methods possess the advantages of ultrahigh sensitivity, good selectivity, rapid analysis time, and low sample consumption. Consequently, single-molecule detection may be potentially employed as an ideal analytical approach to quantify low-abundant biomolecules with rapidity and simplicity. In this Account, we will summarize our efforts for developing a series of ultrasensitive biosensors based on single-molecule counting. Single-molecule counting is a member of single-molecule detection technologies and may be used as a very simple and ultrasensitive method to quantify target molecules by simply counting the individual fluorescent bursts. In the fluorescent sensors, the signals of target biomolecules may be translated to the

  1. Use of single-molecule spectroscopy to tackle fundamental problems in biochemistry: using studies on purple bacterial antenna complexes as an example.

    PubMed

    Cogdell, Richard J; Köhler, Jürgen

    2009-08-13

    Optical single-molecule techniques can be used in two modes to investigate fundamental questions in biochemistry, namely single-molecule detection and single-molecule spectroscopy. This review provides an overview of how single-molecule spectroscopy can be used to gain detailed information on the electronic structure of purple bacterial antenna complexes and to draw conclusions about the underlying physical structure. This information can be used to understand the energy-transfer reactions that are responsible for the earliest reactions in photosynthesis.

  2. Inelastic transport and low-bias rectification in a single-molecule diode.

    PubMed

    Hihath, Joshua; Bruot, Christopher; Nakamura, Hisao; Asai, Yoshihiro; Díez-Pérez, Ismael; Lee, Youngu; Yu, Luping; Tao, Nongjian

    2011-10-25

    Designing, controlling, and understanding rectification behavior in molecular-scale devices has been a goal of the molecular electronics community for many years. Here we study the transport behavior of a single molecule diode, and its nonrectifying, symmetric counterpart at low temperatures, and at both low and high biases to help elucidate the electron-phonon interactions and transport mechanisms in the rectifying system. We find that the onset of current rectification occurs at low biases, indicating a significant change in the elastic transport pathway. However, the peaks in the inelastic electron tunneling (IET) spectrum are antisymmetric about zero bias and show no significant changes in energy or intensity in the forward or reverse bias directions, indicating that despite the change in the elastic transmission probability there is little impact on the inelastic pathway. These results agree with first principles calculations performed to evaluate the IETS, which also allow us to identify which modes are active in the single molecule junction.

  3. Quantitative study of single molecule location estimation techniques.

    PubMed

    Abraham, Anish V; Ram, Sripad; Chao, Jerry; Ward, E S; Ober, Raimund J

    2009-12-21

    Estimating the location of single molecules from microscopy images is a key step in many quantitative single molecule data analysis techniques. Different algorithms have been advocated for the fitting of single molecule data, particularly the nonlinear least squares and maximum likelihood estimators. Comparisons were carried out to assess the performance of these two algorithms in different scenarios. Our results show that both estimators, on average, are able to recover the true location of the single molecule in all scenarios we examined. However, in the absence of modeling inaccuracies and low noise levels, the maximum likelihood estimator is more accurate than the nonlinear least squares estimator, as measured by the standard deviations of its estimates, and attains the best possible accuracy achievable for the sets of imaging and experimental conditions that were tested. Although neither algorithm is consistently superior to the other in the presence of modeling inaccuracies or misspecifications, the maximum likelihood algorithm emerges as a robust estimator producing results with consistent accuracy across various model mismatches and misspecifications. At high noise levels, relative to the signal from the point source, neither algorithm has a clear accuracy advantage over the other. Comparisons were also carried out for two localization accuracy measures derived previously. Software packages with user-friendly graphical interfaces developed for single molecule location estimation (EstimationTool) and limit of the localization accuracy calculations (FandPLimitTool) are also discussed.

  4. THEORY OF SINGLE-MOLECULE SPECTROSCOPY: Beyond the Ensemble Average

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barkai, Eli; Jung, Younjoon; Silbey, Robert

    2004-01-01

    Single-molecule spectroscopy (SMS) is a powerful experimental technique used to investigate a wide range of physical, chemical, and biophysical phenomena. The merit of SMS is that it does not require ensemble averaging, which is found in standard spectroscopic techniques. Thus SMS yields insight into complex fluctuation phenomena that cannot be observed using standard ensemble techniques. We investigate theoretical aspects of SMS, emphasizing (a) dynamical fluctuations (e.g., spectral diffusion, photon-counting statistics, antibunching, quantum jumps, triplet blinking, and nonergodic blinking) and (b) single-molecule fluctuations in disordered systems, specifically distribution of line shapes of single molecules in low-temperature glasses. Special emphasis is given to single-molecule systems that reveal surprising connections to Levy statistics (i.e., blinking of quantum dots and single molecules in glasses). We compare theory with experiment and mention open problems. Our work demonstrates that the theory of SMS is a complementary field of research for describing optical spectroscopy in the condensed phase.

  5. Observing single-molecule chemical reactions on metal nanoparticles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Emory, Steven R.; Ambrose, W. Patrick; Goodwin, Peter M.; Keller, Richard A.

    2001-06-01

    We report on the study of the photodecomposition of single Rhodamine 6G (R6G) dye molecules adsorbed on silver nanoparticles. The nanoparticles were immobilized and spatially isolated on polylysine-derivatized glass coverslips, and confocal laser microspectroscopy was used to obtain surface-enhanced Raman scatters (SERS) spectra from individual R6G molecules. The photodecomposition of these molecules was observed with 150-ms temporal resolution. The photoproduct was identified as graphitic carbon based on the appearance of bread SERS vibrational bands at 1592 cm-1 and 1340 cm-1 observed in both bulk and averaged single-molecule photoproduct spectra. In contrast, when observed at the single-molecule level, the photoproduct yielded sharp SERS spectra. The inhomogeneous broadening of the bulk SERS spectra is due to a variety of photoproducts in different surface orientations and is a characteristic of ensemble-averaged measurement of disordered systems. These single-molecule studies indicate a photodecomposition pathway by which the R6G molecule desorbs from the metal surface, an excited-state photoreaction occurs, and the R6G photoproduct(s) readsorbs to the surface. A SERS spectrum is obtained when either the intact R6G or the R6G photoproduct(s) are adsorbed on a SERS-active site. This work further illustrates the power of single-molecule spectroscopy (SMS) to reveal unique behaviors of single molecules that are not discernable with bulk measurements.

  6. Observing single molecule chemical reactions on metal nanoparticles.

    SciTech Connect

    Emory, S. R.; Ambrose, W. Patrick; Goodwin, P. M.; Keller, Richard A.

    2001-01-01

    We report the study of the photodecomposition of single Rhodamine 6G (R6G) dye molecules adsorbed on silver nanoparticles. The nanoparticles were immobilized and spatially isolated on polylysine-derivatized glass coverslips, and confocal laser microspectroscopy was used to obtain surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) spectra from individual R6G molecules. The photodecomposition of these molecules was observed with 150-ms temporal resolution. The photoproduct was identified as graphitic carbon based on the appearance of broad SERS vibrational bands at 1592 cm{sup -1} and 1340 cm{sup -1} observed in both bulk and averaged single-molecule photoproduct spectra. In contrast, when observed at the single-molecule level, the photoproduct yielded sharp SERS spectra. The inhomogeneous broadening of the bulk SERS spectra is due to a variety of photoproducts in different surface orientations and is a characteristic of ensemble-averaged measurements of disordered systems. These single-molecule studies indicate a photodecomposition pathway by which the R6G molecule desorbs from the metal surface, an excited-state photoreaction occurs, and the R6G photoproduct(s) readsorbs to the surface. A SERS spectrum is obtained when either the intact R6G or the R6G photoproduct(s) are adsorbed on a SERS-active site. This work further illustrates the power of single-molecule spectroscopy (SMS) to reveal unique behaviors of single molecules that are not discernable with bulk measurements.

  7. Reliable Digital Single Molecule Electrochemistry for Ultrasensitive Alkaline Phosphatase Detection.

    PubMed

    Wu, Zhen; Zhou, Chuan-Hua; Pan, Liang-Jun; Zeng, Tao; Zhu, Lian; Pang, Dai-Wen; Zhang, Zhi-Ling

    2016-09-20

    Single molecule electrochemistry (SME) has gained much progress in fundamental studies, but it is difficult to use in practice due to its less reliability. We have solved the reliability of single molecule electrochemical detection by integration of digital analysis with efficient signal amplification of enzyme-induced metallization (EIM) together with high-throughput parallelism of microelectrode array (MA), establishing a digital single molecule electrochemical detection method (dSMED). Our dSMED has been successfully used for alkaline phosphatase (ALP) detection in the complex sample of liver cancer cells. Compared to direct measurement of the oxidation current of enzyme products, EIM can enhance signals by about 100 times, achieving signal-to-background ratio high enough for single molecule detection. The integration of digital analysis with SME can further decrease the detection limit of ALP to 1 aM relative to original 50 aM, enabling dSMED to be sensitively, specifically and reliably applied in liver cancer cells. The presented dSMED is enormously promising in exploring physical and chemical properties of single molecules, single biomolecular detection, or single-cell analysis.

  8. Light Harvesting in Microscale Metal-Organic Frameworks by Energy Migration and Interfacial Electron Transfer Quenching

    SciTech Connect

    Kent, Caleb A.; Liu, Demin; Ma, Liqing; Papanikolas, John M.; Meyer, Thomas J.; Lin, Wenbin

    2011-08-24

    Microscale metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) were synthesized from photoactive Ru(II)-bpy building blocks with strong visible light absorption and long-lived triplet metal-to-ligand charge transfer (³MLCT) excited states. These MOFs underwent efficient luminescence quenching in the presence of either oxidative or reductive quenchers. Up to 98% emission quenching was achieved with either an oxidative quencher (1,4-benzoquinone) or a reductive quencher (N,N,N',N'-tetramethylbenzidine), as a result of rapid energy migration over several hundred nanometers followed by efficient electron transfer quenching at the MOF/solution interface. The photoactive MOFs act as an excellent light-harvesting system by combining intraframework energy migration and interfacial electron transfer quenching.

  9. Simultaneous time and frequency resolved fluorescence microscopy of single molecules.

    SciTech Connect

    Hayden, Carl C.; Gradinaru, Claudiu C.; Chandler, David W.; Luong, A. Khai

    2005-01-01

    Single molecule fluorophores were studied for the first time with a new confocal fluorescence microscope that allows the wavelength and emission time to be simultaneously measured with single molecule sensitivity. In this apparatus, the photons collected from the sample are imaged through a dispersive optical system onto a time and position sensitive detector. This detector records the wavelength and emission time of each detected photon relative to an excitation laser pulse. A histogram of many events for any selected spatial region or time interval can generate a full fluorescence spectrum and correlated decay plot for the given selection. At the single molecule level, this approach makes entirely new types of temporal and spectral correlation spectroscopy of possible. This report presents the results of simultaneous time- and frequency-resolved fluorescence measurements of single rhodamine 6G (R6G), tetramethylrhodamine (TMR), and Cy3 embedded in thin films of polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA).

  10. Quantum dots find their stride in single molecule tracking

    PubMed Central

    Bruchez, Marcel P.

    2011-01-01

    Thirteen years after the demonstration of quantum dots as biological imaging agents, and nine years after the initial commercial introduction of bioconjugated quantum dots, the brightness and photostability of the quantum dots has enabled a range of investigations using single molecule tracking. These materials are being routinely utilized by a number of groups to track the dynamics of single molecules in reconstituted biophysical systems and on living cells, and are especially powerful for investigations of single molecules over long timescales with short exposure times and high pointing accuracy. New approaches are emerging where the quantum dots are used as “hard-sphere” probes for intracellular compartments. Innovations in quantum dot surface modification are poised to substantially expand the utility of these materials. PMID:22055494

  11. Single-molecule decoding of combinatorially modified nucleosomes.

    PubMed

    Shema, Efrat; Jones, Daniel; Shoresh, Noam; Donohue, Laura; Ram, Oren; Bernstein, Bradley E

    2016-05-01

    Different combinations of histone modifications have been proposed to signal distinct gene regulatory functions, but this area is poorly addressed by existing technologies. We applied high-throughput single-molecule imaging to decode combinatorial modifications on millions of individual nucleosomes from pluripotent stem cells and lineage-committed cells. We identified definitively bivalent nucleosomes with concomitant repressive and activating marks, as well as other combinatorial modification states whose prevalence varies with developmental potency. We showed that genetic and chemical perturbations of chromatin enzymes preferentially affect nucleosomes harboring specific modification states. Last, we combined this proteomic platform with single-molecule DNA sequencing technology to simultaneously determine the modification states and genomic positions of individual nucleosomes. This single-molecule technology has the potential to address fundamental questions in chromatin biology and epigenetic regulation. PMID:27151869

  12. Single-molecule mechanochemical sensing using DNA origami nanostructures.

    PubMed

    Koirala, Deepak; Shrestha, Prakash; Emura, Tomoko; Hidaka, Kumi; Mandal, Shankar; Endo, Masayuki; Sugiyama, Hiroshi; Mao, Hanbin

    2014-07-28

    While single-molecule sensing offers the ultimate detection limit, its throughput is often restricted as sensing events are carried out one at a time in most cases. 2D and 3D DNA origami nanostructures are used as expanded single-molecule platforms in a new mechanochemical sensing strategy. As a proof of concept, six sensing probes are incorporated in a 7-tile DNA origami nanoassembly, wherein binding of a target molecule to any of these probes leads to mechanochemical rearrangement of the origami nanostructure, which is monitored in real time by optical tweezers. Using these platforms, 10 pM platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) are detected within 10 minutes, while demonstrating multiplex sensing of the PDGF and a target DNA in the same solution. By tapping into the rapid development of versatile DNA origami nanostructures, this mechanochemical platform is anticipated to offer a long sought solution for single-molecule sensing with improved throughput.

  13. Single-Molecule Experiments in Vitro and in Silico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sotomayor, Marcos; Schulten, Klaus

    2007-05-01

    Single-molecule force experiments in vitro enable the characterization of the mechanical response of biological matter at the nanometer scale. However, they do not reveal the molecular mechanisms underlying mechanical function. These can only be readily studied through molecular dynamics simulations of atomic structural models: “in silico” (by computer analysis) single-molecule experiments. Steered molecular dynamics simulations, in which external forces are used to explore the response and function of macromolecules, have become a powerful tool complementing and guiding in vitro single-molecule experiments. The insights provided by in silico experiments are illustrated here through a review of recent research in three areas of protein mechanics: elasticity of the muscle protein titin and the extracellular matrix protein fibronectin; linker-mediated elasticity of the cytoskeleton protein spectrin; and elasticity of ankyrin repeats, a protein module found ubiquitously in cells but with an as-yet unclear function.

  14. The importance of surfaces in single-molecule bioscience

    PubMed Central

    Visnapuu, Mari-Liis; Duzdevich, Daniel

    2011-01-01

    The last ten years have witnessed an explosion of new techniques that can be used to probe the dynamic behavior of individual biological molecules, leading to discoveries that would not have been possible with more traditional biochemical methods. A common feature among these single-molecule approaches is the need for the biological molecules to be anchored to a solid support surface. This must be done under conditions that minimize nonspecific adsorption without compromising the biological integrity of the sample. In this review we highlight why surface attachments are a critical aspect of many single-molecule studies and we discuss current methods for anchoring biomolecules. Finally, we provide a detailed description of a new method developed by our laboratory for anchoring and organizing hundreds of individual DNA molecules on a surface, allowing “high-throughput” studies of protein–DNA interactions at the single-molecule level. PMID:18414737

  15. Single-molecule junctions with epitaxial graphene nanoelectrodes.

    PubMed

    Ullmann, Konrad; Coto, Pedro B; Leitherer, Susanne; Molina-Ontoria, Agustín; Martín, Nazario; Thoss, Michael; Weber, Heiko B

    2015-05-13

    On the way to ultraflat single-molecule junctions with transparent electrodes, we present a fabrication scheme based on epitaxial graphene nanoelectrodes. As a suitable molecule, we identified a molecular wire with fullerene anchor groups. With these two components, stable electrical characteristics could be recorded. Electrical measurements show that single-molecule junctions with graphene and with gold electrodes display a striking agreement. This motivated a hypothesis that the differential conductance spectra are rather insensitive to the electrode material. It is further corroborated by the assignment of asymmetries and spectral features to internal molecular degrees of freedom. The demonstrated open-access graphene electrodes and the electrode-insensitive molecules provide a model system that will allow for a thorough investigation of an individual single-molecule contact with additional probes.

  16. Detectors for single-molecule fluorescence imaging and spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    MICHALET, X.; SIEGMUND, O.H.W.; VALLERGA, J.V.; JELINSKY, P.; MILLAUD, J.E.; WEISS, S.

    2010-01-01

    Single-molecule observation, characterization and manipulation techniques have recently come to the forefront of several research domains spanning chemistry, biology and physics. Due to the exquisite sensitivity, specificity, and unmasking of ensemble averaging, single-molecule fluorescence imaging and spectroscopy have become, in a short period of time, important tools in cell biology, biochemistry and biophysics. These methods led to new ways of thinking about biological processes such as viral infection, receptor diffusion and oligomerization, cellular signaling, protein-protein or protein-nucleic acid interactions, and molecular machines. Such achievements require a combination of several factors to be met, among which detector sensitivity and bandwidth are crucial. We examine here the needed performance of photodetectors used in these types of experiments, the current state of the art for different categories of detectors, and actual and future developments of single-photon counting detectors for single-molecule imaging and spectroscopy. PMID:20157633

  17. Electrochemical Single-Molecule Transistors with Optimized Gate Coupling.

    PubMed

    Osorio, Henrry M; Catarelli, Samantha; Cea, Pilar; Gluyas, Josef B G; Hartl, František; Higgins, Simon J; Leary, Edmund; Low, Paul J; Martín, Santiago; Nichols, Richard J; Tory, Joanne; Ulstrup, Jens; Vezzoli, Andrea; Milan, David C; Zeng, Qiang

    2015-11-18

    Electrochemical gating at the single molecule level of viologen molecular bridges in ionic liquids is examined. Contrary to previous data recorded in aqueous electrolytes, a clear and sharp peak in the single molecule conductance versus electrochemical potential data is obtained in ionic liquids. These data are rationalized in terms of a two-step electrochemical model for charge transport across the redox bridge. In this model the gate coupling in the ionic liquid is found to be fully effective with a modeled gate coupling parameter, ξ, of unity. This compares to a much lower gate coupling parameter of 0.2 for the equivalent aqueous gating system. This study shows that ionic liquids are far more effective media for gating the conductance of single molecules than either solid-state three-terminal platforms created using nanolithography, or aqueous media.

  18. Single-molecule junctions with epitaxial graphene nanoelectrodes.

    PubMed

    Ullmann, Konrad; Coto, Pedro B; Leitherer, Susanne; Molina-Ontoria, Agustín; Martín, Nazario; Thoss, Michael; Weber, Heiko B

    2015-05-13

    On the way to ultraflat single-molecule junctions with transparent electrodes, we present a fabrication scheme based on epitaxial graphene nanoelectrodes. As a suitable molecule, we identified a molecular wire with fullerene anchor groups. With these two components, stable electrical characteristics could be recorded. Electrical measurements show that single-molecule junctions with graphene and with gold electrodes display a striking agreement. This motivated a hypothesis that the differential conductance spectra are rather insensitive to the electrode material. It is further corroborated by the assignment of asymmetries and spectral features to internal molecular degrees of freedom. The demonstrated open-access graphene electrodes and the electrode-insensitive molecules provide a model system that will allow for a thorough investigation of an individual single-molecule contact with additional probes. PMID:25923590

  19. Electrochemical Single-Molecule Transistors with Optimized Gate Coupling.

    PubMed

    Osorio, Henrry M; Catarelli, Samantha; Cea, Pilar; Gluyas, Josef B G; Hartl, František; Higgins, Simon J; Leary, Edmund; Low, Paul J; Martín, Santiago; Nichols, Richard J; Tory, Joanne; Ulstrup, Jens; Vezzoli, Andrea; Milan, David C; Zeng, Qiang

    2015-11-18

    Electrochemical gating at the single molecule level of viologen molecular bridges in ionic liquids is examined. Contrary to previous data recorded in aqueous electrolytes, a clear and sharp peak in the single molecule conductance versus electrochemical potential data is obtained in ionic liquids. These data are rationalized in terms of a two-step electrochemical model for charge transport across the redox bridge. In this model the gate coupling in the ionic liquid is found to be fully effective with a modeled gate coupling parameter, ξ, of unity. This compares to a much lower gate coupling parameter of 0.2 for the equivalent aqueous gating system. This study shows that ionic liquids are far more effective media for gating the conductance of single molecules than either solid-state three-terminal platforms created using nanolithography, or aqueous media. PMID:26488257

  20. Single molecule detection using charge-coupled device array technology

    SciTech Connect

    Denton, M.B.

    1992-07-29

    A technique for the detection of single fluorescent chromophores in a flowing stream is under development. This capability is an integral facet of a rapid DNA sequencing scheme currently being developed by Los Alamos National Laboratory. In previous investigations, the detection sensitivity was limited by the background Raman emission from the water solvent. A detection scheme based on a novel mode of operating a Charge-Coupled Device (CCD) is being developed which should greatly enhance the discrimination between fluorescence from a single molecule and the background Raman scattering from the solvent. Register shifts between rows in the CCD are synchronized with the sample flow velocity so that fluorescence from a single molecule is collected in a single moving charge packet occupying an area approaching that of a single pixel while the background is spread evenly among a large number of pixels. Feasibility calculations indicate that single molecule detection should be achieved with an excellent signal-to-noise ratio.

  1. Stochasticity in single-molecule nanoelectrochemistry: origins, consequences, and solutions.

    PubMed

    Singh, Pradyumna S; Kätelhön, Enno; Mathwig, Klaus; Wolfrum, Bernhard; Lemay, Serge G

    2012-11-27

    Electrochemical detection of single molecules is being actively pursued as an enabler of new fundamental experiments and sensitive analytical capabilities. Most attempts to date have relied on redox cycling in a nanogap, which consists of two parallel electrodes separated by a nanoscale distance. While these initial experiments have demonstrated single-molecule detection at the proof-of-concept level, several fundamental obstacles need to be overcome to transform the technique into a realistic detection tool suitable for use in more complex settings (e.g., studying enzyme dynamics at single catalytic event level, probing neuronal exocytosis, etc.). In particular, it has become clearer that stochasticity--the hallmark of most single-molecule measurements--can become the key limiting factor on the quality of the information that can be obtained from single-molecule electrochemical assays. Here we employ random-walk simulations to show that this stochasticity is a universal feature of all single-molecule experiments in the diffusively coupled regime and emerges due to the inherent properties of brownian motion. We further investigate the intrinsic coupling between stochasticity and detection capability, paying particular attention to the role of the geometry of the detection device and the finite time resolution of measurement systems. We suggest concrete, realizable experimental modifications and approaches to mitigate these limitations. Overall, our theoretical analyses offer a roadmap for optimizing single-molecule electrochemical experiments, which is not only desirable but also indispensable for their wider employment as experimental tools for electrochemical research and as realistic sensing or detection systems. PMID:23106647

  2. Exploring one-state downhill protein folding in single molecules

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Jianwei; Campos, Luis A.; Cerminara, Michele; Wang, Xiang; Ramanathan, Ravishankar; English, Douglas S.; Muñoz, Victor

    2012-01-01

    A one-state downhill protein folding process is barrierless at all conditions, resulting in gradual melting of native structure that permits resolving folding mechanisms step-by-step at atomic resolution. Experimental studies of one-state downhill folding have typically focused on the thermal denaturation of proteins that fold near the speed limit (ca. 106 s-1) at their unfolding temperature, thus being several orders of magnitude too fast for current single-molecule methods, such as single-molecule FRET. An important open question is whether one-state downhill folding kinetics can be slowed down to make them accessible to single-molecule approaches without turning the protein into a conventional activated folder. Here we address this question on the small helical protein BBL, a paradigm of one-state downhill thermal (un)folding. We decreased 200-fold the BBL folding-unfolding rate by combining chemical denaturation and low temperature, and carried out free-diffusion single-molecule FRET experiments with 50-μs resolution and maximal photoprotection using a recently developed Trolox-cysteamine cocktail. These experiments revealed a single conformational ensemble at all denaturing conditions. The chemical unfolding of BBL was then manifested by the gradual change of this unique ensemble, which shifts from high to low FRET efficiency and becomes broader at increasing denaturant. Furthermore, using detailed quantitative analysis, we could rule out the possibility that the BBL single-molecule data are produced by partly overlapping folded and unfolded peaks. Thus, our results demonstrate the one-state downhill folding regime at the single-molecule level and highlight that this folding scenario is not necessarily associated with ultrafast kinetics. PMID:22184219

  3. Oxidation of freestanding silicon nanocrystals probed with electron spin resonance of interfacial dangling bonds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pereira, R. N.; Rowe, D. J.; Anthony, R. J.; Kortshagen, U.

    2011-04-01

    The oxidation of freestanding silicon nanocrystals (Si-NCs) passivated with Si-H bonds has been investigated for a wide range of oxidation times (from a few minutes to several months) by means of electron spin resonance (ESR) of dangling bonds (DBs) naturally incorporated at the interface between the NC core and the developing oxide shell. These measurements are complemented with surface chemistry analysis from Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Two surface phenomena with initiation time thresholds of 15 min and 30 h are inferred from the dependence of ESR spectra on oxidation time. The first initiates before oxidation of surface Si-Si bonds and destruction of the NC hydrogen termination takes place (induction period) and results in a decrease of the DB density and a localization of the DB orbital at the central Si atom. Within the Cabrera-Mott oxidation mechanism, we associate this process with the formation of intermediate interfacial configurations, resulting from surface adsorption of water and oxygen molecules. The second surface phenomenon leads to a steep increase of the defect density and correlates with the formation of surface Si-O-Si bridges, lending experimental support to theoretically proposed mechanisms for interfacial defect formation involving the emission of Si interstitials at the interface between crystalline Si and the growing oxide.

  4. Lucky imaging: improved localization accuracy for single molecule imaging.

    PubMed

    Cronin, Bríd; de Wet, Ben; Wallace, Mark I

    2009-04-01

    We apply the astronomical data-analysis technique, Lucky imaging, to improve resolution in single molecule fluorescence microscopy. We show that by selectively discarding data points from individual single-molecule trajectories, imaging resolution can be improved by a factor of 1.6 for individual fluorophores and up to 5.6 for more complex images. The method is illustrated using images of fluorescent dye molecules and quantum dots, and the in vivo imaging of fluorescently labeled linker for activation of T cells.

  5. Deciphering Complexity in Molecular Biophysics with Single-Molecule Resolution.

    PubMed

    Deniz, Ashok A

    2016-01-29

    The structural features and dynamics of biological macromolecules underlie the molecular biology and correct functioning of cells. However, heterogeneity and other complexity of these molecules and their interactions often lead to loss of important information in traditional biophysical experiments. Single-molecule methods have dramatically altered the conceptual thinking and experimental tests available for such studies, leveraging their ability to avoid ensemble averaging. Here, I discuss briefly the rise of fluorescence single-molecule methods over the past two decades, a few key applications, and end with a view to challenges and future prospects. PMID:26707199

  6. Structural dynamics of nucleosomes at single molecule resolution

    PubMed Central

    Choy, John S.; Lee, Tae-Hee

    2013-01-01

    The detailed mechanisms of how DNA that is assembled around a histone core can be accessed by DNA-binding proteins for transcription, replication, or repair, remain elusive nearly 40 years after Kornberg's nucleosome model was proposed. Uncovering the structural dynamics of nucleosomes is a crucial step in elucidating the mechanisms regulating genome accessibility. This requires the deconvolultion of multiple structural states within an ensemble. Recent advances in single molecule methods enable unprecedented efficiency in examining subpopulation dynamics. In this review, we summarize studies of nucleosome structure and dynamics from single molecule approaches and how they advance our understanding of the mechanisms that govern DNA transactions. PMID:22831768

  7. An improved surface passivation method for single-molecule studies.

    PubMed

    Hua, Boyang; Han, Kyu Young; Zhou, Ruobo; Kim, Hajin; Shi, Xinghua; Abeysirigunawardena, Sanjaya C; Jain, Ankur; Singh, Digvijay; Aggarwal, Vasudha; Woodson, Sarah A; Ha, Taekjip

    2014-12-01

    We report a surface passivation method based on dichlorodimethylsilane (DDS)-Tween-20 for in vitro single-molecule studies, which, under the conditions tested here, more efficiently prevented nonspecific binding of biomolecules than the standard poly(ethylene glycol) surface. The DDS-Tween-20 surface was simple and inexpensive to prepare and did not perturb the behavior and activities of tethered biomolecules. It can also be used for single-molecule imaging in the presence of high concentrations of labeled species in solution.

  8. Conductance and Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering of Single Molecules Utilizing Dimers of Nanoparticles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dadosh, Tali

    In the past few years, the field of molecular electronics and in particular, the development of new techniques for contacting and measuring single molecules, has emerged, providing new insights into this field. The relatively small size of a molecule, typically of the order of 1 nm, requires innovative approaches in order to develop functioning single-molecule devices. The experimental methods currently used for single-molecule measurements provide little control over the number of molecules bridging the gap or the local electronic properties of the metal-molecule contact. In this thesis, a new approach for contacting a single molecule is presented that provides better control of these parameters. Our method is based on synthesizing a dimer structure consisting of two gold colloids connected by a thiol group to either side of the molecule. This structure is then positioned between two electrodes by electrostatic trapping and, thus, the conductance of the molecule can be measured. The fundamental questions addressed by the field of molecular electronics are as follows: "what is the conductivity of a junction containing an individual molecule and how is it affected by the molecule's specific structure?" We were able to shed some light on these questions by studying the electrical conduction through three short organic molecules that differ by their degree of conjugation. We will consider here a fully conjugated molecule, 4,4'-biphenyldithiol (BPD), Bis-(4-mercaptophenyl)-ether (BPE), in which the conjugation is broken at the center by an oxygen atom, and 1,4-benzenedimethanethiol (BDMT), where the conjugation is broken near the contacts by a methylene group. We found that the presence of localizing groups such as the oxygen in the BPE and the methylene groups in the BDMT suppresses the electrical conduction dramatically, relative to the conjugated molecule, BPD. A unique feature of the BPD molecule is the appearance of reproducible, pronounced peaks in its

  9. Single Molecule Switches and Molecular Self-Assembly: Low Temperature STM Investigations and Manipulations

    SciTech Connect

    Iancu, Violeta

    2006-08-01

    This dissertation is devoted to single molecule investigations and manipulations of two porphyrin-based molecules, chlorophyll-a and Co-popphyrin. The molecules are absorbed on metallic substrates and studied at low temperatures using a scanning tunneling microscope. The electronic, structural and mechanical properties of the molecules are investigated in detail with atomic level precision. Chlorophyll-a is the key ingredient in photosynthesis processes while Co-porphyrin is a magnetic molecule that represents the recent emerging field of molecular spintronics. Using the scanning tunneling microscope tip and the substrate as electrodes, and the molecules as active ingredients, single molecule switches made of these two molecules are demonstrated. The first switch, a multiple and reversible mechanical switch, is realized by using chlorophyll-a where the energy transfer of a single tunneling electron is used to rotate a C-C bond of the molecule's tail on a Au(111) surface. Here, the det

  10. Theory of femtosecond coherent double-pump single-molecule spectroscopy: Application to light harvesting complexes

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, Lipeng; Zhao, Yang; Gelin, Maxim F.; Domcke, Wolfgang

    2015-04-28

    We develop a first principles theoretical description of femtosecond double-pump single-molecule signals of molecular aggregates. We incorporate all singly excited electronic states and vibrational modes with significant exciton-phonon coupling into a system Hamiltonian and treat the ensuing system dynamics within the Davydov D{sub 1} Ansatz. The remaining intra- and inter-molecular vibrational modes are treated as a heat bath and their effect is accounted for through lineshape functions. We apply our theory to simulate single-molecule signals of the light harvesting complex II. The calculated signals exhibit pronounced oscillations of mixed electron-vibrational (vibronic) origin. Their periods decrease with decreasing exciton-phonon coupling.

  11. Theory of femtosecond coherent double-pump single-molecule spectroscopy: Application to light harvesting complexes.

    PubMed

    Chen, Lipeng; Gelin, Maxim F; Domcke, Wolfgang; Zhao, Yang

    2015-04-28

    We develop a first principles theoretical description of femtosecond double-pump single-molecule signals of molecular aggregates. We incorporate all singly excited electronic states and vibrational modes with significant exciton-phonon coupling into a system Hamiltonian and treat the ensuing system dynamics within the Davydov D1 Ansatz. The remaining intra- and inter-molecular vibrational modes are treated as a heat bath and their effect is accounted for through lineshape functions. We apply our theory to simulate single-molecule signals of the light harvesting complex II. The calculated signals exhibit pronounced oscillations of mixed electron-vibrational (vibronic) origin. Their periods decrease with decreasing exciton-phonon coupling. PMID:25933751

  12. Density-functional study of two Fe4-based single-molecule magnets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ribas-Arino, Jordi; Baruah, Tunna; Pederson, Mark R.

    2005-07-01

    We present the results of our all-electron density-functional calculations on the electronic structure and magnetic anisotropy energy of the [Fe4(OMe)6(dpm)6] and [Fe4(thme)2(dpm)6] molecular clusters, which are experimentally found to behave as single-molecule magnets. The calculated magnetic anisotropy energy barriers are 2.65 and 15.8K, respectively, which agree with the experimental data. We also present a density-functional study on the effect of the structure distortions on the magnetic anisotropy of the [Fe(H2O)6]3+ complex. This study, together with an analysis of the projected anisotropies of each iron ion in both molecular clusters, allows us to qualitatively understand why the magnetic anisotropy energy (MAE) barrier of the second single-molecule magnet (SMM) is larger than the MAE of the first SMM.

  13. Magnetic behaviour of TbPc2 single-molecule magnets chemically grafted on silicon surface

    PubMed Central

    Mannini, Matteo; Bertani, Federico; Tudisco, Cristina; Malavolti, Luigi; Poggini, Lorenzo; Misztal, Kasjan; Menozzi, Daniela; Motta, Alessandro; Otero, Edwige; Ohresser, Philippe; Sainctavit, Philippe; Condorelli, Guglielmo G.; Dalcanale, Enrico; Sessoli, Roberta

    2014-01-01

    Single-molecule magnets (SMMs) are among the most promising molecular systems for the development of novel molecular electronics based on the spin transport. Going beyond the investigations focused on physisorbed SMMs, in this work the robust grafting of Terbium(III) bis(phthalocyaninato) complexes to silicon surface from a diluted solution is achieved by rational chemical design yielding the formation of a partially oriented monolayer on the conducting substrate. Here, by exploiting the surface sensitivity of X-ray circular magnetic dichroism we evidence an enhancement of the magnetic bistability of this single-molecule magnet, in contrast to the dramatic reduction of the magnetic hysteresis that characterises monolayer deposits evaporated on noble and ferromagnetic metals. Photoelectron spectroscopy investigations and density functional theory analysis suggest a non-innocent role played by the silicon substrate, evidencing the potentiality of this approach for robust integration of bistable magnetic molecules in electronic devices. PMID:25109254

  14. Interfacial electron transfer of Shewanella putrefaciens enhanced by nanoflaky nickel oxide array in microbial fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qiao, Yan; Wu, Xiao-Shuai; Li, Chang Ming

    2014-11-01

    A uniform nanoflaky nickel oxide (NiO) array is constructed on carbon cloth via optimized conditions, and further employed as an anode in Shewanella putrefaciens (S. putrefaciens) microbial fuel cells (MFCs). Results indicate that the NiO nanoflakes/carbon cloth anode significantly improves the MFC performance in comparison to the unmodified carbon cloth, delivering about three times higher power density. This attributes to an enhanced interfacial electron transfer rate between bacteria cell and nanoflaky NiO array-modified carbon fiber and improved adhesion of bacteria cells on the modified carbon fiber for more active reaction centers. Considering the facile synthesis process, low cost and long discharging lifetime, this NiO/carbon cloth anode could be very promising to be applied for high performance, large scale MFCs.

  15. Effects of fixed pattern noise on single molecule localization microscopy.

    PubMed

    Long, F; Zeng, S Q; Huang, Z L

    2014-10-21

    The newly developed scientific complementary metal oxide semiconductor (sCMOS) cameras are capable of realizing fast single molecule localization microscopy without sacrificing field-of-view, benefiting from their readout speed which is significantly higher than that of conventional charge-coupled device (CCD) cameras. However, the poor image uniformity (suffered from fixed pattern noise, FPN) is a major obstruction for widespread use of sCMOS cameras in single molecule localization microscopy. Here we present a quantitative investigation on the effects of FPN on single molecule localization microscopy via localization precision and localization bias. We found that FPN leads to almost no effect on localization precision, but introduces a certain amount of localization bias. However, for a commercial Hamamatsu Flash 4.0 sCMOS camera, such localization bias is usually <2 nm and thus can be neglected for most localization microscopy experiments. This study addresses the FPN concern which worries researchers, and thus will promote the application of sCMOS cameras in single molecule localization microscopy.

  16. Single-molecule photophysics, from cryogenic to ambient conditions.

    PubMed

    Kozankiewicz, Bolesław; Orrit, Michel

    2014-02-21

    We review recent progress in characterizing and understanding the photophysics of single molecules in condensed matter, mostly at cryogenic temperatures. We discuss the central role of the triplet state in limiting the number of useful host-guest systems, notably a new channel, intermolecular intersystem crossing. Another important limitation to the use of single molecules is their photo-reactivity, leading to blinking of the fluorescence signal, and eventually to its loss by photo-bleaching. These processes are at the heart of modern super-resolution schemes. We then examine some of the new host-guest systems recently discovered following these general principles, and the mechanisms of spectral diffusion and dephasing that they have revealed. When charges are injected into organic conductors, they get trapped and influence single molecules via the local fields they create in the material, and via their coupling to localized vibrations. Understanding these processes is necessary for better control of spectral diffusion and dephasing of single molecules. We finally conclude by giving some outlook on future directions of this fascinating field.

  17. Single-molecule Studies of RNA Polymerase: Motoring Along

    PubMed Central

    Herbert, Kristina M.; Greenleaf, William J.; Block, Steven M.

    2010-01-01

    Single-molecule techniques have advanced our understanding of transcription by RNA polymerase. A new arsenal of approaches, including single-molecule fluorescence, atomic-force microscopy, magnetic tweezers, and optical traps have been employed to probe the many facets of the transcription cycle. These approaches supply fresh insights into the means by which RNA polymerase identifies a promoter; initiates transcription, translocates and pauses along the DNA template, proofreads errors, and ultimately terminates transcription. Results from single-molecule experiments complement knowledge gained from biochemical and genetic assays by facilitating the observation of states that are otherwise obscured by ensemble averaging, such as those resulting from heterogeneity in molecular structure, elongation rate, or pause propensity. Most studies to date have been performed with bacterial RNA polymerase, but work is also being carried out with eukaryotic polymerase (Pol II) and single-subunit polymerases from bacteriophages. We discuss recent progress achieved by single-molecule studies, highlighting some of the unresolved questions and ongoing debates. PMID:18410247

  18. Single Molecule Fluorescence Microscopy on Planar Supported Bilayers

    PubMed Central

    Axmann, Markus; Schütz, Gerhard J.; Huppa, Johannes B.

    2015-01-01

    In the course of a single decade single molecule microscopy has changed from being a secluded domain shared merely by physicists with a strong background in optics and laser physics to a discipline that is now enjoying vivid attention by life-scientists of all venues 1. This is because single molecule imaging has the unique potential to reveal protein behavior in situ in living cells and uncover cellular organization with unprecedented resolution below the diffraction limit of visible light 2. Glass-supported planar lipid bilayers (SLBs) are a powerful tool to bring cells otherwise growing in suspension in close enough proximity to the glass slide so that they can be readily imaged in noise-reduced Total Internal Reflection illumination mode 3,4. They are very useful to study the protein dynamics in plasma membrane-associated events as diverse as cell-cell contact formation, endocytosis, exocytosis and immune recognition. Simple procedures are presented how to generate highly mobile protein-functionalized SLBs in a reproducible manner, how to determine protein mobility within and how to measure protein densities with the use of single molecule detection. It is shown how to construct a cost-efficient single molecule microscopy system with TIRF illumination capabilities and how to operate it in the experiment. PMID:26555335

  19. Statistics and Related Topics in Single-Molecule Biophysics

    PubMed Central

    Qian, Hong; Kou, S. C.

    2014-01-01

    Since the universal acceptance of atoms and molecules as the fundamental constituents of matter in the early twentieth century, molecular physics, chemistry and molecular biology have all experienced major theoretical breakthroughs. To be able to actually “see” biological macromolecules, one at a time in action, one has to wait until the 1970s. Since then the field of single-molecule biophysics has witnessed extensive growth both in experiments and theory. A distinct feature of single-molecule biophysics is that the motions and interactions of molecules and the transformation of molecular species are necessarily described in the language of stochastic processes, whether one investigates equilibrium or nonequilibrium living behavior. For laboratory measurements following a biological process, if it is sampled over time on individual participating molecules, then the analysis of experimental data naturally calls for the inference of stochastic processes. The theoretical and experimental developments of single-molecule biophysics thus present interesting questions and unique opportunity for applied statisticians and probabilists. In this article, we review some important statistical developments in connection to single-molecule biophysics, emphasizing the application of stochastic-process theory and the statistical questions arising from modeling and analyzing experimental data. PMID:25009825

  20. Single Molecule Study of Cellulase Hydrolysis of Crystalline Cellulose

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, Y.-S.; Luo, Y.; Baker, J. O.; Zeng, Y.; Himmel, M. E.; Smith, S.; Ding, S.-Y.

    2009-12-01

    This report seeks to elucidate the role of cellobiohydrolase-I (CBH I) in the hydrolysis of crystalline cellulose. A single-molecule approach uses various imaging techniques to investigate the surface structure of crystalline cellulose and changes made in the structure by CBH I.

  1. Interfacial bonding and electronic structure of GaN/GaAs interface: A first-principles study

    SciTech Connect

    Cao, Ruyue; Zhang, Zhaofu; Wang, Changhong; Li, Haobo; Dong, Hong; Liu, Hui; Wang, Weichao; Xie, Xinjian

    2015-04-07

    Understanding of GaN interfacing with GaAs is crucial for GaN to be an effective interfacial layer between high-k oxides and III-V materials with the application in high-mobility metal-oxide-semiconductor field effect transistor (MOSFET) devices. Utilizing first principles calculations, here, we investigate the structural and electronic properties of the GaN/GaAs interface with respect to the interfacial nitrogen contents. The decrease of interfacial N contents leads to more Ga dangling bonds and As-As dimers. At the N-rich limit, the interface with N concentration of 87.5% shows the most stability. Furthermore, a strong band offsets dependence on the interfacial N concentration is also observed. The valance band offset of N7 with hybrid functional calculation is 0.51 eV. The electronic structure analysis shows that significant interface states exist in all the GaN/GaAs models with various N contents, which originate from the interfacial dangling bonds and some unsaturated Ga and N atoms. These large amounts of gap states result in Fermi level pinning and essentially degrade the device performance.

  2. Interfacial bonding and electronic structure of GaN/GaAs interface: A first-principles study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cao, Ruyue; Zhang, Zhaofu; Wang, Changhong; Li, Haobo; Xie, Xinjian; Dong, Hong; Liu, Hui; Wang, Weichao

    2015-04-01

    Understanding of GaN interfacing with GaAs is crucial for GaN to be an effective interfacial layer between high-k oxides and III-V materials with the application in high-mobility metal-oxide-semiconductor field effect transistor (MOSFET) devices. Utilizing first principles calculations, here, we investigate the structural and electronic properties of the GaN/GaAs interface with respect to the interfacial nitrogen contents. The decrease of interfacial N contents leads to more Ga dangling bonds and As-As dimers. At the N-rich limit, the interface with N concentration of 87.5% shows the most stability. Furthermore, a strong band offsets dependence on the interfacial N concentration is also observed. The valance band offset of N7 with hybrid functional calculation is 0.51 eV. The electronic structure analysis shows that significant interface states exist in all the GaN/GaAs models with various N contents, which originate from the interfacial dangling bonds and some unsaturated Ga and N atoms. These large amounts of gap states result in Fermi level pinning and essentially degrade the device performance.

  3. Interfacial ultramorphology evaluation of resin luting cements to dentin: a correlative scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy analysis.

    PubMed

    Aguiar, Thaiane Rodrigues; Vermelho, Paulo Moreira; André, Carolina Bosso; Giannini, Marcelo

    2013-12-01

    The objective of this study was to analyze the dentin-resin cements interfacial ultramorphologies using two different methods: scanning (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Four commercial products were evaluated: two conventional cementing system (RelyX ARC/Adper™ Scotchbond™ Multi-Purpose Plus, 3M ESPE and Clearfil Esthetic Cement/DC Bond, Kuraray) and two self-adhesive resin cements (RelyX Unicem, 3M ESPE and Clearfil SA Cement, Kuraray). Prepolymerized resin disks (Sinfony, 3M ESPE) were cemented on oclusal dentin surfaces of 24 third human molars, simulating the indirect restorations. After 24 h, teeth were sectioned into 0.9-mm thick slabs and processed for microscopy analyses (SEM or TEM/ n = 3). Qualitative characterization of dentin-resin cement interface was performed. Hybrid layer formation with long and dense resin tags was observed only for RelyX ARC cementing system. Clearfil Esthetic Cement/DC Bond system revealed few and short resin tags formation, whereas no hybridization and resin tags were detected for self-adhesive resin cements. Some interfacial regions exhibited that the self-adhesive resin cements were not bonded to dentin, presenting bubbles or voids at the interfaces. In conclusion, TEM and SEM bonding interface analyses showed ultramorphological variations among resin cements, which are directly related to dental bonding strategies used for each resin cement tested.

  4. A Multi-State Single-Molecule Switch Actuated by Rotation of an Encapsulated Cluster within a Fullerene Cage

    SciTech Connect

    Huang, Tian; Zhao, Jin; Feng, Min; Popov, Alexey A.; Yang, Shangfeng; Dunsch, Lothar; Petek, Hrvoje

    2012-11-12

    We demonstrate a single-molecule switch based on tunneling electron-driven rotation of a triangular Sc₃N cluster within an icosahedral C 80 fullerene cage among three pairs of enantiomorphic configura-tions. Scanning tunneling microscopy imaging of switching within single molecules and electronic structure theory identify the conformational isomers and their isomerization pathways. Bias-dependent actionspectra and modeling identify the antisymmetric stretch vibration of Sc 3N cluster to be the gateway for energy transfer from the tunneling electrons to the cluster rotation. Hierarchical switching of conductivity through the internal cluster motion among multiple stationary states while maintaining a constant shape, is advantageous for the integration of endohedral fullerene-based single-molecule memory and logic devices into parallel molecular computing arc.

  5. Dynamics and mechanisms of interfacial photoinduced electron transfer processes of third generation photovoltaics and photocatalysis.

    PubMed

    Bauer, Christophe; Teuscher, Joël; Brauer, Jan C; Punzi, Angela; Marchioro, Arianna; Ghadiri, Elham; De Jonghe, Jelissa; Wielopolski, Mateusz; Banerji, Natalie; Moser, Jacques E

    2011-01-01

    Photoinduced electron transfer (PET) across molecular/bulk interfaces has gained attention only recently and is still poorly understood. These interfaces offer an excellent case study, pertinent to a variety of photovoltaic systems, photo- and electrochemistry, molecular electronics, analytical detection, photography, and quantum confinement devices. They play in particular a key role in the emerging fields of third-generation photovoltaic energy converters and artificial photosynthetic systems aimed at the production of solar fuels, creating a need for a better understanding and theoretical treatment of the dynamics and mechanisms of interfacial PET processes. We aim to achieve a fundamental understanding of these phenomena by designing experiments that can be used to test and alter modern theory and computational modeling. One example illustrating recent investigations into the details of the ultrafast processes that form the basis for photoinduced charge separation at a molecular/bulk interface relevant to dye-sensitized solar cells is briefly presented here: Kinetics of interfacial PET and charge recombination processes were measured by fs and ns transient spectroscopy in a heterogeneous donor-bridge-acceptor (D-B-A) system, where D is a Ru(II)(terpyridyl-PO3)(NCS)3 complex, B an oligo-p-phenylene bridge, and A nanocrystalline TiO2. The forward ET reaction was found to be faster than vibrational relaxation of the vibronic excited state of the donor. Instead, the back ET occurred on the micros time scale and involved fully thermalized species. The D-A distance dependence of the electron transfer rate was studied by varying the number of p-phenylene units contained in the bridge moiety. The remarkably low damping factor beta = 0.16 angstroms(-1) observed for the ultrafast charge injection from the dye excited state into the conduction band of TiO2 is attributed to the coupling of electron tunneling with nonequilibrium vibrations redistributed on the bridge

  6. Information-theoretical analysis of time-correlated single-photon counting measurements of single molecules.

    PubMed

    Talaga, David S

    2009-04-30

    Time-correlated single photon counting allows luminescence lifetime information to be determined on a single molecule level. This paper develops a formalism to allow information theory analysis of the ability of luminescence lifetime measurements to resolve states in a single molecule. It analyzes the information content of the photon stream and the fraction of that information that is relevant to the state determination problem. Experimental losses of information due to instrument response, digitization, and different types of background are calculated and a procedure to determine the optimal value of experimental parameters is demonstrated. This paper shows how to use the information theoretical formalism to evaluate the number of photons required to distinguish dyes that differ only by lifetime. It extends this idea to include distinguishing molecular states that differ in the electron transfer quenching or resonant energy transfer and shows how the differences between the lifetime of signal and background can help distinguish the dye position in an excitation beam. PMID:19385684

  7. Direct Measurement of Single-Molecule DNA Hybridization Dynamics with Single-Base Resolution.

    PubMed

    He, Gen; Li, Jie; Ci, Haina; Qi, Chuanmin; Guo, Xuefeng

    2016-07-25

    Herein, we report label-free detection of single-molecule DNA hybridization dynamics with single-base resolution. By using an electronic circuit based on point-decorated silicon nanowires as electrical probes, we directly record the folding/unfolding process of individual hairpin DNAs with sufficiently high signal-to-noise ratio and bandwidth. These measurements reveal two-level current oscillations with strong temperature dependence, enabling us to determine the thermodynamic and kinetic properties of hairpin DNA hybridization. More importantly, successive, stepwise increases and decreases in device conductance at low temperature on a microsecond timescale are successfully observed, indicating a base-by-base unfolding/folding process. The process demonstrates a kinetic zipper model for DNA hybridization/dehybridization at the single base-pair level. This measurement capability promises a label-free single-molecule approach to probe biomolecular interactions with fast dynamics.

  8. Rectifications in organic single-molecule diodes alkanethiolate-terminated heterocyclics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    An, Yipeng; Zhang, Mengjun; Wang, Tianxing; Wang, Guangtao; Fu, Zhaoming

    2016-02-01

    Based on the non-equilibrium Green's function formalism combined with the ab initio density functional theory, we investigate the rectifying behaviors of the organic single-molecule S(CH2)11-terminated with a variety of heterocyclics (i.e., BIPY, PHE, PHEPY, and PYR) coupled with two semi-infinite Au electrodes. Our quantum transport calculation results show that the BIPY and PHE nanojunctions show the high-efficiency rectifying effects. While, differently, the current-voltage (I-V) curves of PHEPY and PYR nanojunctions display the insulating and linear characters, respectively. The corresponding electronic transport mechanisms are analyzed in detail. Our calculation results demonstrate that these investigated organic single-molecule nanojunctions have the potential applications in rectifiers and molecular wires.

  9. Monitoring patterned enzymatic polymerization on DNA origami at single-molecule level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Okholm, A. H.; Aslan, H.; Besenbacher, F.; Dong, M.; Kjems, J.

    2015-06-01

    DNA origami has been used to orchestrate reactions with nano-precision using a variety of biomolecules. Here, the dynamics of albumin-assisted, localized single-molecule DNA polymerization by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase on a 2D DNA origami are monitored using AFM in liquid. Direct visualization of the surface activity revealed the mechanics of growth.DNA origami has been used to orchestrate reactions with nano-precision using a variety of biomolecules. Here, the dynamics of albumin-assisted, localized single-molecule DNA polymerization by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase on a 2D DNA origami are monitored using AFM in liquid. Direct visualization of the surface activity revealed the mechanics of growth. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available. See DOI: 10.1039/c5nr01945a

  10. Single-molecule chemistry and physics explored by low-temperature scanning probe microscopy.

    PubMed

    Swart, Ingmar; Gross, Leo; Liljeroth, Peter

    2011-08-28

    It is well known that scanning probe techniques such as scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) routinely offer atomic scale information on the geometric and the electronic structure of solids. Recent developments in STM and especially in non-contact AFM have allowed imaging and spectroscopy of individual molecules on surfaces with unprecedented spatial resolution, which makes it possible to study chemistry and physics at the single molecule level. In this feature article, we first review the physical concepts underlying image contrast in STM and AFM. We then focus on the key experimental considerations and use selected examples to demonstrate the capabilities of modern day low-temperature scanning probe microscopy in providing chemical insight at the single molecule level.

  11. Carbon nanotube nanoelectromechanical systems as magnetometers for single-molecule magnets.

    PubMed

    Ganzhorn, Marc; Klyatskaya, Svetlana; Ruben, Mario; Wernsdorfer, Wolfgang

    2013-07-23

    Due to outstanding mechanical and electronic properties, carbon nanotube nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS) were recently proposed as ultrasensitive magnetometers for single-molecule magnets (SMM). In this article, we describe a noninvasive grafting of a SMM on a carbon nanotube NEMS, which conserves both the mechanical properties of the carbon nanotube NEMS and the magnetic properties of the SMM. We will demonstrate that the nonlinearity of a carbon nanotube's mechanical motion can be used to probe the reversal of a molecular spin, associated with a bis(phthalocyaninato)terbium(III) single-molecule magnet, providing an experimental evidence for the detection of a single spin by a mechanical degree of freedom on a molecular level.

  12. In situ Formation of Highly Conducting Covalent Au-C Contacts for Single-Molecule Junctions

    SciTech Connect

    Cheng, Z.L.; Hybertsen, M.; Skouta, R.; Vazquez, H.; Widawsky, J.R.; Schneebeli, S.; Chen, W.; Breslow, R.; Venkataraman, L.

    2011-06-01

    Charge transport across metal-molecule interfaces has an important role in organic electronics. Typically, chemical link groups such as thiols or amines are used to bind organic molecules to metal electrodes in single-molecule circuits, with these groups controlling both the physical structure and the electronic coupling at the interface. Direct metal-carbon coupling has been shown through C60, benzene and {pi}-stacked benzene but ideally the carbon backbone of the molecule should be covalently bonded to the electrode without intervening link groups. Here, we demonstrate a method to create junctions with such contacts. Trimethyl tin (SnMe{sub 3})-terminated polymethylene chains are used to form single-molecule junctions with a break-junction technique. Gold atoms at the electrode displace the SnMe{sub 3} linkers, leading to the formation of direct Au-C bonded single-molecule junctions with a conductance that is {approx}100 times larger than analogous alkanes with most other terminations. The conductance of these Au-C bonded alkanes decreases exponentially with molecular length, with a decay constant of 0.97 per methylene, consistent with a non-resonant transport mechanism. Control experiments and ab initio calculations show that high conductances are achieved because a covalent Au-C sigma ({sigma}) bond is formed. This offers a new method for making reproducible and highly conducting metal-organic contacts.

  13. PEG-Labeled Nucleotides and Nanopore Detection for Single Molecule DNA Sequencing by Synthesis

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Shiv; Tao, Chuanjuan; Chien, Minchen; Hellner, Brittney; Balijepalli, Arvind; Robertson, Joseph W. F.; Li, Zengmin; Russo, James J.; Reiner, Joseph E.; Kasianowicz, John J.; Ju, Jingyue

    2012-01-01

    We describe a novel single molecule nanopore-based sequencing by synthesis (Nano-SBS) strategy that can accurately distinguish four bases by detecting 4 different sized tags released from 5′-phosphate-modified nucleotides. The basic principle is as follows. As each nucleotide is incorporated into the growing DNA strand during the polymerase reaction, its tag is released and enters a nanopore in release order. This produces a unique ionic current blockade signature due to the tag's distinct chemical structure, thereby determining DNA sequence electronically at single molecule level with single base resolution. As proof of principle, we attached four different length PEG-coumarin tags to the terminal phosphate of 2′-deoxyguanosine-5′-tetraphosphate. We demonstrate efficient, accurate incorporation of the nucleotide analogs during the polymerase reaction, and excellent discrimination among the four tags based on nanopore ionic currents. This approach coupled with polymerase attached to the nanopores in an array format should yield a single-molecule electronic Nano-SBS platform. PMID:23002425

  14. Electronic Coupling Dependence of Ultrafast Interfacial Electron Transfer on Nanocrystalline Thin Films and Single Crystal

    SciTech Connect

    Lian, Tianquan

    2014-04-22

    The long-term goal of the proposed research is to understand electron transfer dynamics in nanoparticle/liquid interface. This knowledge is essential to many semiconductor nanoparticle based devices, including photocatalytic waste degradation and dye sensitized solar cells.

  15. Interfacial Charge Transport in Organic Electronic Materials: the Key to a New Electronics Technology

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, D.L.; Campbell, I.H.; Davids, P.S.; Heller, C.M.; Laurich, B.K.; Crone, B.K.; Saxena, A.; Bishop, A.R.; Ferraris, J.P.; Yu, Z.G.

    1999-06-04

    This is the final report of a three-year, Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) project at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). The primary aim of this project is to obtain a basic scientific understanding of electrical transport processes at interfaces that contain an organic electronic material. Because of their processing advantages and the tunability of their electronic properties, organic electronic materials are revolutionizing major technological areas such as information display. We completed an investigation of the fundamental electronic excitation energies in the prototype conjugated polymer MEH-PPV. We completed a combined theoretical/experimental study of the energy relation between charged excitations in a conjugated polymer and the metal at a polymer/metal interface. We developed a theoretical model that explains injection currents at polymer/metal interfaces. We have made electrical measurements on devices fabricated using the conjugated polymer MEH-PPV a nd a series of metals.

  16. "Sticky electrons" transport and interfacial transfer of electrons in the dye-sensitized solar cell.

    PubMed

    Peter, Laurence

    2009-11-17

    Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs, also known as Gratzel cells) mimic the photosynthetic process by using a sensitizer dye to harvest light energy to generate electrical power. Several functional features of these photochemical devices are unusual, and DSC research offers a rewarding arena in which to test new ideas, new materials, and new methodologies. Indeed, one of the most attractive chemical features of the DSC is that the basic concept can be used to construct a range of devices, replacing individual components with alternative materials. Despite two decades of increasing research activity, however, many aspects of the behavior of electrons in the DSC remain puzzling. In this Account, we highlight current understanding of the processes involved in the functioning of the DSC, with particular emphasis on what happens to the electrons in the mesoporous film following the injection step. The collection of photoinjected electrons appears to involve a random walk process in which electrons move through the network of interconnected titanium dioxide nanoparticles while undergoing frequent trapping and detrapping. During their passage to the cell contact, electrons may be lost by transfer to tri-iodide species in the redox electrolyte that permeates the mesoporous film. Competition between electron collection and back electron transfer determines the performance of a DSC: ideally, all injected electrons should be collected without loss. This Account then goes on to survey recent experimental and theoretical progress in the field, placing particular emphasis on issues that need to be resolved before we can gain a clear picture of how the DSC works. Several important questions about the behavior of "sticky" electrons, those that undergo multiple trapping and detrapping, in the DSC remain unanswered. The most fundamental of these concerns is the nature of the electron traps that appear to dominate the time-dependent photocurrent and photovoltage response of DSCs. The

  17. Semisynthetic Nanoreactor for Reversible Single-Molecule Covalent Chemistry.

    PubMed

    Lee, Joongoo; Boersma, Arnold J; Boudreau, Marc A; Cheley, Stephen; Daltrop, Oliver; Li, Jianwei; Tamagaki, Hiroko; Bayley, Hagan

    2016-09-27

    Protein engineering has been used to remodel pores for applications in biotechnology. For example, the heptameric α-hemolysin pore (αHL) has been engineered to form a nanoreactor to study covalent chemistry at the single-molecule level. Previous work has been confined largely to the chemistry of cysteine side chains or, in one instance, to an irreversible reaction of an unnatural amino acid side chain bearing a terminal alkyne. Here, we present four different αHL pores obtained by coupling either two or three fragments by native chemical ligation (NCL). The synthetic αHL monomers were folded and incorporated into heptameric pores. The functionality of the pores was validated by hemolysis assays and by single-channel current recording. By using NCL to introduce a ketone amino acid, the nanoreactor approach was extended to an investigation of reversible covalent chemistry on an unnatural side chain at the single-molecule level. PMID:27537396

  18. Semisynthetic Nanoreactor for Reversible Single-Molecule Covalent Chemistry

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Protein engineering has been used to remodel pores for applications in biotechnology. For example, the heptameric α-hemolysin pore (αHL) has been engineered to form a nanoreactor to study covalent chemistry at the single-molecule level. Previous work has been confined largely to the chemistry of cysteine side chains or, in one instance, to an irreversible reaction of an unnatural amino acid side chain bearing a terminal alkyne. Here, we present four different αHL pores obtained by coupling either two or three fragments by native chemical ligation (NCL). The synthetic αHL monomers were folded and incorporated into heptameric pores. The functionality of the pores was validated by hemolysis assays and by single-channel current recording. By using NCL to introduce a ketone amino acid, the nanoreactor approach was extended to an investigation of reversible covalent chemistry on an unnatural side chain at the single-molecule level. PMID:27537396

  19. Single Molecule Junctions: Probing Contact Chemistry and Fundamental Circuit Laws

    SciTech Connect

    Hybertsen M. S.

    2013-04-11

    By exploiting selective link chemistry, formation of single molecule junctions with reproducible conductance has become established. Systematic studies reveal the structure-conductance relationships for diverse molecules. I will draw on experiments from my collaborators at Columbia University, atomic-scale calculations and theory to describe progress in two areas. First, I will describe a novel route to form single molecule junctions, based on SnMe3 terminated molecules, in which gold directly bonds to carbon in the molecule backbone resulting in near ideal contact resistance [1]. Second, comparison of the conductance of junctions formed with molecular species containing either one backbone or two backbones in parallel allows demonstration of the role of quantum interference in the conductance superposition law at the molecular scale [2].

  20. High thermopower of mechanically stretched single-molecule junctions.

    PubMed

    Tsutsui, Makusu; Morikawa, Takanori; He, Yuhui; Arima, Akihide; Taniguchi, Masateru

    2015-01-01

    Metal-molecule-metal junction is a promising candidate for thermoelectric applications that utilizes quantum confinement effects in the chemically defined zero-dimensional atomic structure to achieve enhanced dimensionless figure of merit ZT. A key issue in this new class of thermoelectric nanomaterials is to clarify the sensitivity of thermoelectricity on the molecular junction configurations. Here we report simultaneous measurements of the thermoelectric voltage and conductance on Au-1,4-benzenedithiol (BDT)-Au junctions mechanically-stretched in-situ at sub-nanoscale. We obtained the average single-molecule conductance and thermopower of 0.01 G0 and 15 μV/K, respectively, suggesting charge transport through the highest occupied molecular orbital. Meanwhile, we found the single-molecule thermoelectric transport properties extremely-sensitive to the BDT bridge configurations, whereby manifesting the importance to design the electrode-molecule contact motifs for optimizing the thermoelectric performance of molecular junctions. PMID:26112999

  1. Microsecond protein dynamics observed at the single-molecule level

    PubMed Central

    Otosu, Takuhiro; Ishii, Kunihiko; Tahara, Tahei

    2015-01-01

    How polypeptide chains acquire specific conformations to realize unique biological functions is a central problem of protein science. Single-molecule spectroscopy, combined with fluorescence resonance energy transfer, is utilized to study the conformational heterogeneity and the state-to-state transition dynamics of proteins on the submillisecond to second timescales. However, observation of the dynamics on the microsecond timescale is still very challenging. This timescale is important because the elementary processes of protein dynamics take place and direct comparison between experiment and simulation is possible. Here we report a new single-molecule technique to reveal the microsecond structural dynamics of proteins through correlation of the fluorescence lifetime. This method, two-dimensional fluorescence lifetime correlation spectroscopy, is applied to clarify the conformational dynamics of cytochrome c. Three conformational ensembles and the microsecond transitions in each ensemble are indicated from the correlation signal, demonstrating the importance of quantifying microsecond dynamics of proteins on the folding free energy landscape. PMID:26151767

  2. Light Sheet Microscopy for Single Molecule Tracking in Living Tissue

    PubMed Central

    Ritter, Jörg Gerhard; Veith, Roman; Veenendaal, Andreas; Siebrasse, Jan Peter; Kubitscheck, Ulrich

    2010-01-01

    Single molecule observation in cells and tissue allows the analysis of physiological processes with molecular detail, but it still represents a major methodological challenge. Here we introduce a microscopic technique that combines light sheet optical sectioning microscopy and ultra sensitive high-speed imaging. By this approach it is possible to observe single fluorescent biomolecules in solution, living cells and even tissue with an unprecedented speed and signal-to-noise ratio deep within the sample. Thereby we could directly observe and track small and large tracer molecules in aqueous solution. Furthermore, we demonstrated the feasibility to visualize the dynamics of single tracer molecules and native messenger ribonucleoprotein particles (mRNPs) in salivary gland cell nuclei of Chironomus tentans larvae up to 200 µm within the specimen with an excellent signal quality. Thus single molecule light sheet based fluorescence microscopy allows analyzing molecular diffusion and interactions in complex biological systems. PMID:20668517

  3. Microsecond protein dynamics observed at the single-molecule level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Otosu, Takuhiro; Ishii, Kunihiko; Tahara, Tahei

    2015-07-01

    How polypeptide chains acquire specific conformations to realize unique biological functions is a central problem of protein science. Single-molecule spectroscopy, combined with fluorescence resonance energy transfer, is utilized to study the conformational heterogeneity and the state-to-state transition dynamics of proteins on the submillisecond to second timescales. However, observation of the dynamics on the microsecond timescale is still very challenging. This timescale is important because the elementary processes of protein dynamics take place and direct comparison between experiment and simulation is possible. Here we report a new single-molecule technique to reveal the microsecond structural dynamics of proteins through correlation of the fluorescence lifetime. This method, two-dimensional fluorescence lifetime correlation spectroscopy, is applied to clarify the conformational dynamics of cytochrome c. Three conformational ensembles and the microsecond transitions in each ensemble are indicated from the correlation signal, demonstrating the importance of quantifying microsecond dynamics of proteins on the folding free energy landscape.

  4. A Single-Molecule Study of RNA Catalysis and Folding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhuang, Xiaowei; Bartley, Laura E.; Babcock, Hazen P.; Russell, Rick; Ha, Taekjip; Herschlag, Daniel; Chu, Steven

    2000-06-01

    Using fluorescence microscopy, we studied the catalysis by and folding of individual Tetrahymena thermophila ribozyme molecules . The dye-labeled and surface-immobilized ribozymes used were shown to be functionally indistinguishable from the unmodified free ribozyme in solution. A reversible local folding step in which a duplex docks and undocks from the ribozyme core was observed directly in single-molecule time trajectories, allowing the determination of the rate constants and characterization of the transition state. A rarely populated docked state, not measurable by ensemble methods, was observed. In the overall folding process, intermediate folding states and multiple folding pathways were observed. In addition to observing previously established folding pathways, a pathway with an observed folding rate constant of 1 per second was discovered. These results establish single-molecule fluorescence as a powerful tool for examining RNA folding.

  5. Single-Molecule Observation of Prokaryotic DNA Replication

    PubMed Central

    Tanner, Nathan A.; van Oijen, Antoine M.

    2010-01-01

    Recent advances in optical imaging and molecular manipulation techniques have made it possible to observe the activity of individual enzymes and study the dynamic properties of processes that are challenging to elucidate using ensemble-averaging techniques. The use of single-molecule approaches has proven to be particularly successful in the study of the dynamic interactions between the components at the replication fork. In this section, we describe the methods necessary for in vitro single-molecule studies of prokaryotic replication systems. Through these experiments, accurate information can be obtained on the rates and processivities of DNA unwinding and polymerization. The ability to monitor in real time the progress of a single replication fork allows for the detection of short-lived, intermediate states that would be difficult to visualize in bulk-phase assays. PMID:19563119

  6. Single molecule insights on conformational selection and induced fit mechanism.

    PubMed

    Hatzakis, Nikos S

    2014-02-01

    Biomolecular interactions regulate a plethora of vital cellular processes, including signal transduction, metabolism, catalysis and gene regulation. Regulation is encoded in the molecular properties of the constituent proteins; distinct conformations correspond to different functional outcomes. To describe the molecular basis of this behavior, two main mechanisms have been advanced: 'induced fit' and 'conformational selection'. Our understanding of these models relies primarily on NMR, computational studies and kinetic measurements. These techniques report the average behavior of a large ensemble of unsynchronized molecules, often masking intrinsic dynamic behavior of proteins and biologically significant transient intermediates. Single molecule measurements are emerging as a powerful tool for characterizing protein function. They offer the direct observation and quantification of the activity, abundance and lifetime of multiple states and transient intermediates in the energy landscape, that are typically averaged out in non-synchronized ensemble measurements. Here we survey new insights from single molecule studies that advance our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying biomolecular recognition. PMID:24342874

  7. High-throughput multispot single-molecule spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Colyer, Ryan A.; Scalia, Giuseppe; Kim, Taiho; Rech, Ivan; Resnati, Daniele; Marangoni, Stefano; Ghioni, Massimo; Cova, Sergio; Weiss, Shimon; Michalet, Xavier

    2011-01-01

    Solution-based single-molecule spectroscopy and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) are powerful techniques to access a variety of molecular properties such as size, brightness, conformation, and binding constants. However, this is limited to low concentrations, which results in long acquisition times in order to achieve good statistical accuracy. Data can be acquired more quickly by using parallelization. We present a new approach using a multispot excitation and detection geometry made possible by the combination of three powerful new technologies: (i) a liquid crystal spatial light modulator to produce multiple diffraction-limited excitation spots; (ii) a multipixel detector array matching the excitation pattern and (iii) a low-cost reconfigurable multichannel counting board. We demonstrate the capabilities of this technique by reporting FCS measurements of various calibrated samples as well as single-molecule burst measurements. PMID:21643532

  8. Visualizing Cellular Machines with Colocalization Single Molecule Microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Larson, Joshua D.; Rodgers, Margaret L.

    2013-01-01

    Many of the cell's macromolecular machines contain multiple components that transiently associate with one another. This compositional and dynamic complexity presents a challenge for understanding how these machines are constructed and function. Colocalization single molecule spectroscopy enables simultaneous observation of individual components of these machines in real-time and grants a unique window into processes that are typically obscured in ensemble assays. Colocalization experiments can yield valuable information about assembly pathways, compositional heterogeneity, and kinetics that together contribute to the development of richly detailed reaction mechanisms. This review focuses on recent advances in colocalization single molecule spectroscopy and how this technique has been applied to enhance our understanding of transcription, RNA splicing, and translation. PMID:23970346

  9. STM CONTROL OF CHEMICAL REACTIONS: Single-Molecule Synthesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hla, Saw-Wai; Rieder, Karl-Heinz

    2003-10-01

    The fascinating advances in single atom/molecule manipulation with a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) tip allow scientists to fabricate atomic-scale structures or to probe chemical and physical properties of matters at an atomic level. Owing to these advances, it has become possible for the basic chemical reaction steps, such as dissociation, diffusion, adsorption, readsorption, and bond-formation processes, to be performed by using the STM tip. Complete sequences of chemical reactions are able to induce at a single-molecule level. New molecules can be constructed from the basic molecular building blocks on a one-molecule-at-a-time basis by using a variety of STM manipulation schemes in a systematic step-by-step manner. These achievements open up entirely new opportunities in nanochemistry and nanochemical technology. In this review, various STM manipulation techniques useful in the single-molecule reaction process are reviewed, and their impact on the future of nanoscience and technology are discussed.

  10. Single molecule study of ClpP enzymatic activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mazouchi, Amir; Yu, Angela; Houry, Walid; Gradinaru, Claudiu

    2009-03-01

    Elementary processes that form the basis of biological activities pass through a number of short-lived intermediate states while progressing from initial state to final state. Single-molecule techniques, unlike ensemble averaging measurements, are often able to resolve these transient states. ClpP, a known target of antibacterial drugs like acydepsipeptides (ADEPs), is a classical representative of serine proteases, enzymes that cleave peptide bonds in proteins. We performed single-molecule fluorescence measurements including burst spectroscopy and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) to address unknown aspects of this degradation process. Our study reveals important molecular details of protein degradation, such as the enzyme-substrate binding rate, the lifetime distribution of the conjugated state and the probability of substrate cleavage upon conjugation.

  11. High thermopower of mechanically stretched single-molecule junctions

    PubMed Central

    Tsutsui, Makusu; Morikawa, Takanori; He, Yuhui; Arima, Akihide

    2015-01-01

    Metal-molecule-metal junction is a promising candidate for thermoelectric applications that utilizes quantum confinement effects in the chemically defined zero-dimensional atomic structure to achieve enhanced dimensionless figure of merit ZT. A key issue in this new class of thermoelectric nanomaterials is to clarify the sensitivity of thermoelectricity on the molecular junction configurations. Here we report simultaneous measurements of the thermoelectric voltage and conductance on Au-1,4-benzenedithiol (BDT)-Au junctions mechanically-stretched in-situ at sub-nanoscale. We obtained the average single-molecule conductance and thermopower of 0.01 G0 and 15 μV/K, respectively, suggesting charge transport through the highest occupied molecular orbital. Meanwhile, we found the single-molecule thermoelectric transport properties extremely-sensitive to the BDT bridge configurations, whereby manifesting the importance to design the electrode-molecule contact motifs for optimizing the thermoelectric performance of molecular junctions. PMID:26112999

  12. Single Molecule Detection in Solution: Methods and Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zander, Christoph; Enderlein, Jorg; Keller, Richard A.

    2002-07-01

    The detection of single molecules opens up new horizons in analytical chemistry, biology and medicine. This discipline, which belongs to the expanding field of nanoscience, has been rapidly emerging over the last ten years. This handbook provides a thorough overview of the field. It begins with basics of single molecule detection in solution, describes methods and devices (fluorescense correlation spectroscopy, surface enhanced Raman scattering, sensors, especially dyes, screening techniques, especially confocal laser scanning microscopy). In the second part, various applications in life sciences and medicine provide the latest research results. This modern handbook is a highly accessible reference for a broad community from advanced researchers, specialists and company professionals in physics, spectroscopy, biotechnology, analytical chemistry, and medicine. Written by leading authorities in the field, it is timely and fills a gap - up to now there exists no handbook concerning this theme.

  13. Single molecule imaging of NGF axonal transport in microfluidic devices

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Kai; Osakada, Yasuko; Vrljic, Marija; Chen, Liang; Mudrakola, Harsha V.

    2010-01-01

    Nerve growth factor (NGF) signaling begins at the nerve terminal, where it binds and activates membrane receptors and subsequently carries the cell-survival signal to the cell body through the axon. A recent study revealed that the majority of endosomes contain a single NGF molecule, which makes single molecule imaging an essential tool for NGF studies. Despite being an increasingly popular technique, single molecule imaging in live cells is often limited by background fluorescence. Here, we employed a microfluidic culture platform to achieve background reduction for single molecule imaging in live neurons. Microfluidic devices guide the growth of neurons and allow separately-controlled microenvironment for cell bodies or axon termini. Designs of microfluidic devices were optimized and a three-compartment device successfully achieved direct observation of axonal transport of single NGF when quantum dot labeled NGF (Qdot-NGF) was applied only to the distal-axon compartment while imaging was carried out exclusively in the cell-body compartment. Qdot-NGF was shown to move exclusively toward the cell body with a characteristic stop-and-go pattern of movements. Measurements at various temperatures show that the rate of NGF retrograde transport decreased exponentially over the range of 36–14°C. A 10°C decrease in temperature resulted in a threefold decrease in the rate of NGF retrograde transport. Our successful measurements of NGF transport suggest that the microfluidic device can serve as a unique platform for single molecule imaging of molecular processes in neurons. PMID:20623041

  14. Single molecule conductance: Role of electrode morphology at the nanoscale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ravi, Divakar; Karthika, C. P.; Sen, Arijit

    2013-02-01

    We investigate the effect of nanoelectrode morphology on the charge transport in σ-saturated molecular junctions. Single-molecule conductance through coaxial gold nanowires turns out to be about three times higher than that through hollow gold nanotubes with similar chirality. However, the device conductance remains the same for molecular junctions with electrodes comprising planar and tubular gold nanowires, respectively. Manipulation of nanoelectrodes could thus open up new possibilities for more flexible yet stable nanoelectronic devices.

  15. Characterization of interfacially electronic structures of gold-magnetite heterostructures using X-ray absorption spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Lin, Fang-hsin; Doong, Ruey-an

    2014-03-01

    Gold-magnetite heterostructures are novel nanomaterials which can rapidly catalyze the reduction reaction of nitroaromatics. In this study, the interfacially structural and electronic properties of various morphologies of Au-Fe3O4 heterostructures were systematically investigated using X-ray absorbance spectroscopy (XAS) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The effect of change in electronic structure and charge transfer on electrochemically catalytic activity of Au-Fe3O4 heterostructures was further evaluated by oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). The shifts in binding energy of Au4f and Fe2p peaks in XPS spectra indicate the charge transfer between the Au and Fe3O4 nanoparticles. The increase in d-hole population of Au seeds after the conjugation with iron oxides follows the order flower-like Au-Fe3O4 (FLNPs)>dumbbell-like Au-Fe3O4 (DBNPs)>Au seeds. In addition, the Fe(2+) valence state increases in Au-Fe3O4 heterostructures, which provides evidence to support the hypothesis of charge transfer between Au and Fe3O4 nanoparticles. The theoretical simulation of Au L3-edge XAS further confirms the production of Au-Fe and Au-O bonds at the interface of Au/Fe3O4 and the epitaxial linkage relationship between Au and Fe3O4 nanoparticles. In addition, the electron deficient of Au seeds increases upon increasing Fe3O4 nanoparticles on a single Au seed, and subsequently decreases the catalytic activity of Au in the Au-Fe3O4 heterostructures. The catalytic activity of Au-Fe3O4 toward ORR follows the order Au seeds>Au-Fe3O4 DBNPs>Au-Fe3O4 FLNPs, which is positively correlated to the extent of electronic deficiency of Au in Au-Fe3O4 heterostructures.

  16. Single Molecule Electrochemical Detection in Aqueous Solutions and Ionic Liquids.

    PubMed

    Byers, Joshua C; Paulose Nadappuram, Binoy; Perry, David; McKelvey, Kim; Colburn, Alex W; Unwin, Patrick R

    2015-10-20

    Single molecule electrochemical detection (SMED) is an extremely challenging aspect of electroanalytical chemistry, requiring unconventional electrochemical cells and measurements. Here, SMED is reported using a "quad-probe" (four-channel probe) pipet cell, fabricated by depositing carbon pyrolytically into two diagonally opposite barrels of a laser-pulled quartz quadruple-barreled pipet and filling the open channels with electrolyte solution, and quasi-reference counter electrodes. A meniscus forms at the end of the probe covering the two working electrodes and is brought into contact with a substrate working electrode surface. In this way, a nanogap cell is produced whereby the two carbon electrodes in the pipet can be used to promote redox cycling of an individual molecule with the substrate. Anticorrelated currents generated at the substrate and tip electrodes, at particular distances (typically tens of nanometers), are consistent with the detection of single molecules. The low background noise realized in this droplet format opens up new opportunities in single molecule electrochemistry, including the use of ionic liquids, as well as aqueous solution, and the quantitative assessment and analysis of factors influencing redox cycling currents, due to a precisely known gap size.

  17. Improved Dye Stability in Single-Molecule Fluorescence Experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    EcheverrÍa Aitken, Colin; Marshall, R. Andrew; Pugi, Joseph D.

    Complex biological systems challenge existing single-molecule methods. In particular, dye stability limits observation time in singlemolecule fluorescence applications. Current approaches to improving dye performance involve the addition of enzymatic oxygen scavenging systems and small molecule additives. We present an enzymatic oxygen scavenging system that improves dye stability in single-molecule experiments. Compared to the currently-employed glucose-oxidase/catalase system, the protocatechuate-3,4-dioxygenase system achieves lower dissolved oxygen concentration and stabilizes single Cy3, Cy5, and Alexa488 fluorophores. Moreover, this system possesses none of the limitations associated with the glucose oxidase/catalase system. We also tested the effects of small molecule additives in this system. Biological reducing agents significantly destabilize the Cy5 fluorophore as a function of reducing potential. In contrast, anti-oxidants stabilize the Cy3 and Alexa488 fluorophores. We recommend use of the protocatechuate-3,4,-dioxygenase system with antioxidant additives, and in the absence of biological reducing agents. This system should have wide application to single-molecule fluorescence experiments.

  18. Viruses and Tetraspanins: Lessons from Single Molecule Approaches

    PubMed Central

    Dahmane, Selma; Rubinstein, Eric; Milhiet, Pierre-Emmanuel

    2014-01-01

    Tetraspanins are four-span membrane proteins that are widely distributed in multi-cellular organisms and involved in several infectious diseases. They have the unique property to form a network of protein-protein interaction within the plasma membrane, due to the lateral associations with one another and with other membrane proteins. Tracking tetraspanins at the single molecule level using fluorescence microscopy has revealed the membrane behavior of the tetraspanins CD9 and CD81 in epithelial cell lines, providing a first dynamic view of this network. Single molecule tracking highlighted that these 2 proteins can freely diffuse within the plasma membrane but can also be trapped, permanently or transiently, in tetraspanin-enriched areas. More recently, a similar strategy has been used to investigate tetraspanin membrane behavior in the context of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. In this review we summarize the main results emphasizing the relationship in terms of membrane partitioning between tetraspanins, some of their partners such as Claudin-1 and EWI-2, and viral proteins during infection. These results will be analyzed in the context of other membrane microdomains, stressing the difference between raft and tetraspanin-enriched microdomains, but also in comparison with virus diffusion at the cell surface. New advanced single molecule techniques that could help to further explore tetraspanin assemblies will be also discussed. PMID:24800676

  19. Optimal Background Estimators in Single-Molecule FRET Microscopy.

    PubMed

    Preus, Søren; Hildebrandt, Lasse L; Birkedal, Victoria

    2016-09-20

    Single-molecule total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy constitutes an umbrella of powerful tools that facilitate direct observation of the biophysical properties, population heterogeneities, and interactions of single biomolecules without the need for ensemble synchronization. Due to the low signal/noise ratio in single-molecule TIRF microscopy experiments, it is important to determine the local background intensity, especially when the fluorescence intensity of the molecule is used quantitatively. Here we compare and evaluate the performance of different aperture-based background estimators used particularly in single-molecule Förster resonance energy transfer. We introduce the general concept of multiaperture signatures and use this technique to demonstrate how the choice of background can affect the measured fluorescence signal considerably. A new, to our knowledge, and simple background estimator is proposed, called the local statistical percentile (LSP). We show that the LSP background estimator performs as well as current background estimators at low molecular densities and significantly better in regions of high molecular densities. The LSP background estimator is thus suited for single-particle TIRF microscopy of dense biological samples in which the intensity itself is an observable of the technique. PMID:27653486

  20. Optimal Background Estimators in Single-Molecule FRET Microscopy.

    PubMed

    Preus, Søren; Hildebrandt, Lasse L; Birkedal, Victoria

    2016-09-20

    Single-molecule total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy constitutes an umbrella of powerful tools that facilitate direct observation of the biophysical properties, population heterogeneities, and interactions of single biomolecules without the need for ensemble synchronization. Due to the low signal/noise ratio in single-molecule TIRF microscopy experiments, it is important to determine the local background intensity, especially when the fluorescence intensity of the molecule is used quantitatively. Here we compare and evaluate the performance of different aperture-based background estimators used particularly in single-molecule Förster resonance energy transfer. We introduce the general concept of multiaperture signatures and use this technique to demonstrate how the choice of background can affect the measured fluorescence signal considerably. A new, to our knowledge, and simple background estimator is proposed, called the local statistical percentile (LSP). We show that the LSP background estimator performs as well as current background estimators at low molecular densities and significantly better in regions of high molecular densities. The LSP background estimator is thus suited for single-particle TIRF microscopy of dense biological samples in which the intensity itself is an observable of the technique.

  1. Automated multidimensional single molecule fluorescence microscopy feature detection and tracking.

    PubMed

    Rolfe, Daniel J; McLachlan, Charles I; Hirsch, Michael; Needham, Sarah R; Tynan, Christopher J; Webb, Stephen E D; Martin-Fernandez, Marisa L; Hobson, Michael P

    2011-10-01

    Characterisation of multi-protein interactions in cellular networks can be achieved by optical microscopy using multidimensional single molecule fluorescence imaging. Proteins of different species, individually labelled with a single fluorophore, can be imaged as isolated spots (features) of different colour light in different channels, and their diffusive behaviour in cells directly measured through time. Challenges in data analysis have, however, thus far hindered its application in biology. A set of methods for the automated analysis of multidimensional single molecule microscopy data from cells is presented, incorporating Bayesian segmentation-based feature detection, image registration and particle tracking. Single molecules of different colours can be simultaneously detected in noisy, high background data with an arbitrary number of channels, acquired simultaneously or time-multiplexed, and then tracked through time. The resulting traces can be further analysed, for example to detect intensity steps, count discrete intensity levels, measure fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) or changes in polarisation. Examples are shown illustrating the use of the algorithms in investigations of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signalling network, a key target for cancer therapeutics, and with simulated data.

  2. Designer Plasmonics Nanostructures Approaching Single Molecule Raman Scattering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gordon, Reuven; Min, Qiao; Andrade, Gustavo F. S.; Brolo, Alexandre G.

    2010-03-01

    Since the early reports of single molecule Raman scattering detection using randomly roughened metal substrates [Phys. Rev. Lett. 78, 1667 - 1670 (1997), Science 21, 275(5303), 1102 - 1106 (1997)], there has been considerable interest in achieving single molecule Raman spectroscopy from fabricated nanostructures that are not random. Such designer plasmonic nanostructures have the advantages of improved control over the near-field enhancement magnitude, deterministic placement of the local-field hot-spots, optimized collection efficiency and greater reproducibility. Previously, we have created a metal nanostructures with measured 20 molecule Raman signal limit of detection [J. Phys. Chem. C 112 (39), 15098-15101, (2008)]. To achieve the desired near-field electric field enhancements, those nanostructures contained familiar elements to the plasmonic community: concentric focusing rings and subwavelength focusing tapers. Here, we will describe improved designs that have enabled us to improve those results by a factor of 6. We will also show polarization dependent studies that clearly demonstrate the plasmonic nature of the subwavelength focusing structures, including experimental polarization-resolved Raman spectroscopy maps. We are beginning statistical analysis experiments to determine if single molecule Raman is present in these nanostructures.

  3. Semisynthetic protein nanoreactor for single-molecule chemistry

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Joongoo; Bayley, Hagan

    2015-01-01

    The covalent chemistry of individual reactants bound within a protein pore can be monitored by observing the ionic current flow through the pore, which acts as a nanoreactor responding to bond-making and bond-breaking events. In the present work, we incorporated an unnatural amino acid into the α-hemolysin (αHL) pore by using solid-phase peptide synthesis to make the central segment of the polypeptide chain, which forms the transmembrane β-barrel of the assembled heptamer. The full-length αHL monomer was obtained by native chemical ligation of the central synthetic peptide to flanking recombinant polypeptides. αHL pores with one semisynthetic subunit were then used as nanoreactors for single-molecule chemistry. By introducing an amino acid with a terminal alkyne group, we were able to visualize click chemistry at the single-molecule level, which revealed a long-lived (4.5-s) reaction intermediate. Additional side chains might be introduced in a similar fashion, thereby greatly expanding the range of single-molecule covalent chemistry that can be investigated by the nanoreactor approach. PMID:26504203

  4. Single-Molecule Studies of Actin Assembly and Disassembly Factors

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Benjamin A.; Gelles, Jeff; Goode, Bruce L.

    2014-01-01

    The actin cytoskeleton is very dynamic and highly regulated by multiple associated proteins in vivo. Understanding how this system of proteins functions in the processes of actin network assembly and disassembly requires methods to dissect the mechanisms of activity of individual factors and of multiple factors acting in concert. The advent of single-filament and single-molecule fluorescence imaging methods has provided a powerful new approach to discovering actin-regulatory activities and obtaining direct, quantitative insights into the pathways of molecular interactions that regulate actin network architecture and dynamics. Here we describe techniques for acquisition and analysis of single-molecule data, applied to the novel challenges of studying the filament assembly and disassembly activities of actin-associated proteins in vitro. We discuss the advantages of single-molecule analysis in directly visualizing the order of molecular events, measuring the kinetic rates of filament binding and dissociation, and studying the coordination among multiple factors. The methods described here complement traditional biochemical approaches in elucidating actin-regulatory mechanisms in reconstituted filamentous networks. PMID:24630103

  5. Single-molecule observation of prokaryotic DNA replication.

    PubMed

    Geertsema, Hylkje J; Duderstadt, Karl E; van Oijen, Antoine M

    2015-01-01

    Replication of DNA requires the coordinated activity of a number of proteins within a multiprotein complex, the replisome. Recent advances in single-molecule techniques have enabled the observation of dynamic behavior of individual replisome components and of the replisome as a whole, aspects that previously often have been obscured by ensemble averaging in more classical solution-phase biochemical experiments. To improve robustness and reproducibility of single-molecule assays of replication and allow objective analysis and comparison of results obtained from such assays, common practices should be established. Here, we describe the technical details of two assays to study replisome activity. In one, the kinetics of replication are observed as length changes in DNA molecules mechanically stretched by a laminar flow applied to attached beads. In the other, fluorescence imaging is used to determine both the kinetics and stoichiometry of individual replisome components. These in vitro single-molecule methods allow for elucidation of the dynamic behavior of individual replication proteins of prokaryotic replication systems.

  6. Single Molecule Spectroscopy of Monomeric LHCII: Experiment and Theory

    PubMed Central

    Malý, Pavel; Gruber, J. Michael; van Grondelle, Rienk; Mančal, Tomáš

    2016-01-01

    We derive approximate equations of motion for excited state dynamics of a multilevel open quantum system weakly interacting with light to describe fluorescence-detected single molecule spectra. Based on the Frenkel exciton theory, we construct a model for the chlorophyll part of the LHCII complex of higher plants and its interaction with previously proposed excitation quencher in the form of the lutein molecule Lut 1. The resulting description is valid over a broad range of timescales relevant for single molecule spectroscopy, i.e. from ps to minutes. Validity of these equations is demonstrated by comparing simulations of ensemble and single-molecule spectra of monomeric LHCII with experiments. Using a conformational change of the LHCII protein as a switching mechanism, the intensity and spectral time traces of individual LHCII complexes are simulated, and the experimental statistical distributions are reproduced. Based on our model, it is shown that with reasonable assumptions about its interaction with chlorophylls, Lut 1 can act as an efficient fluorescence quencher in LHCII. PMID:27189196

  7. Modular stitching to image single-molecule DNA transport.

    PubMed

    Guan, Juan; Wang, Bo; Bae, Sung Chul; Granick, Steve

    2013-04-24

    For study of time-dependent conformation, all previous single-molecule imaging studies of polymer transport involve fluorescence labeling uniformly along the chain, which suffers from limited resolution due to the diffraction limit. Here we demonstrate the concept of submolecular single-molecule imaging with DNA chains assembled from DNA fragments such that a chain is labeled at designated spots with covalently attached fluorescent dyes and the chain backbone with dyes of different color. High density of dyes ensures good signal-to-noise ratio to localize the designated spots in real time with nanometer precision and prevents significant photobleaching for long-time tracking purposes. To demonstrate usefulness of this approach, we image electrophoretic transport of λ-DNA through agarose gels. The unexpected pattern is observed that one end of each molecule tends to stretch out in the electric field while the other end remains quiescent for some time before it snaps forward and the stretch-recoil cycle repeats. These features are neither predicted by prevailing theories of electrophoresis mechanism nor detectable by conventional whole-chain labeling methods, which demonstrate pragmatically the usefulness of modular stitching to reveal internal chain dynamics of single molecules.

  8. Single-molecule imaging studies of protein dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zareh, Shannon Kian G.

    2011-12-01

    Single-molecule fluorescence imaging is a powerful method for studying biological events. The work of this thesis primarily focuses on single molecule studies of the dynamics of Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) and other fluorescent-labeled proteins by utilizing Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy and imaging. The single molecule experiments of this thesis covered three broad topics. First, the adsorption mechanisms of proteins onto hydrophobic and hydrophilic fused silica surfaces were imaged and reversible and irreversible adsorption mechanisms were observed. The second topic covered a new technique for measuring the diffusion coefficient of Brownian diffusing proteins, in particular GFP, in solution via a single image. The corresponding experiments showed a relationship between the intensity profile width and the diffusion coefficient of the diffusing molecules. The third topic covered an in vivo experiment involving imaging and quantifying prokaryotic cell metabolism protein dynamics inside the Bacillus subtilis bacteria, in which a helical diffusion pattern for the protein was observed. These topics are presented in the chronological order of the experiments conducted.

  9. Single-Molecule Ion Channel Conformational Dynamics in Living Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, H. Peter

    2014-03-01

    Stochastic and inhomogeneous conformational changes regulate the function and dynamics of ion channels that are crucial for cell functions, neuronal signaling, and brain functions. Such complexity makes it difficult, if not impossible, to characterize ion channel dynamics using conventional electrical recording alone since that the measurement does not specifically interrogate the associated conformational changes but rather the consequences of the conformational changes. Recently, new technology developments on single-molecule spectroscopy, and especially, the combined approaches of using single ion channel patch-clamp electrical recording and single-molecule fluorescence imaging have provided us the capability of probing ion channel conformational changes simultaneously with the electrical single channel recording. By combining real-time single-molecule fluorescence imaging measurements with real-time single-channel electric current measurements in artificial lipid bilayers and in living cell membranes, we were able to probe single ion-channel-protein conformational changes simultaneously, and thus providing an understanding the dynamics and mechanism of ion-channel proteins at the molecular level. The function-regulating and site-specific conformational changes of ion channels are now measurable under physiological conditions in real-time, one molecule at a time. We will focus our discussion on the new development and results of real-time imaging of the dynamics of gramicidin, colicin, and NMDA receptor ion channels in lipid bilayers and living cells. Our results shed light on new perspectives of the intrinsic interplay of lipid membrane dynamics, solvation dynamics, and the ion channel functions.

  10. Fabrication of Low Noise Borosilicate Glass Nanopores for Single Molecule Sensing

    PubMed Central

    Bafna, Jayesh A.; Soni, Gautam V.

    2016-01-01

    We show low-cost fabrication and characterization of borosilicate glass nanopores for single molecule sensing. Nanopores with diameters of ~100 nm were fabricated in borosilicate glass capillaries using laser assisted glass puller. We further achieve controlled reduction and nanometer-size control in pore diameter by sculpting them under constant electron beam exposure. We successfully fabricate pore diameters down to 6 nm. We next show electrical characterization and low-noise behavior of these borosilicate nanopores and compare their taper geometries. We show, for the first time, a comprehensive characterization of glass nanopore conductance across six-orders of magnitude (1M-1μM) of salt conditions, highlighting the role of buffer conditions. Finally, we demonstrate single molecule sensing capabilities of these devices with real-time translocation experiments of individual λ-DNA molecules. We observe distinct current blockage signatures of linear as well as folded DNA molecules as they undergo voltage-driven translocation through the glass nanopores. We find increased signal to noise for single molecule detection for higher trans-nanopore driving voltages. We propose these nanopores will expand the realm of applications for nanopore platform. PMID:27285088

  11. Development of new photon-counting detectors for single-molecule fluorescence microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Michalet, X.; Colyer, R. A.; Scalia, G.; Ingargiola, A.; Lin, R.; Millaud, J. E.; Weiss, S.; Siegmund, Oswald H. W.; Tremsin, Anton S.; Vallerga, John V.; Cheng, A.; Levi, M.; Aharoni, D.; Arisaka, K.; Villa, F.; Guerrieri, F.; Panzeri, F.; Rech, I.; Gulinatti, A.; Zappa, F.; Ghioni, M.; Cova, S.

    2013-01-01

    Two optical configurations are commonly used in single-molecule fluorescence microscopy: point-like excitation and detection to study freely diffusing molecules, and wide field illumination and detection to study surface immobilized or slowly diffusing molecules. Both approaches have common features, but also differ in significant aspects. In particular, they use different detectors, which share some requirements but also have major technical differences. Currently, two types of detectors best fulfil the needs of each approach: single-photon-counting avalanche diodes (SPADs) for point-like detection, and electron-multiplying charge-coupled devices (EMCCDs) for wide field detection. However, there is room for improvements in both cases. The first configuration suffers from low throughput owing to the analysis of data from a single location. The second, on the other hand, is limited to relatively low frame rates and loses the benefit of single-photon-counting approaches. During the past few years, new developments in point-like and wide field detectors have started addressing some of these issues. Here, we describe our recent progresses towards increasing the throughput of single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy in solution using parallel arrays of SPADs. We also discuss our development of large area photon-counting cameras achieving subnanosecond resolution for fluorescence lifetime imaging applications at the single-molecule level. PMID:23267185

  12. Interfacial properties and electronic structure of β-SiC(111)/α-Ti(0001): A first principle study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Jian; Yang, Yanqing; Li, Lili; Lou, Juhong; Luo, Xian; Huang, Bin

    2013-01-01

    First-principles calculations of β-SiC(111)/α-Ti(0001) interface have been performed and the adhesion strength, interface energy, interfacial fracture toughness, and electronic structure are obtained. Six C-terminated β-SiC(111)/α-Ti(0001) interface models are investigated to clarify the influence of stacking sites and Ti atoms tilt direction on the interface bonding and fracture toughness. The hollow-site-stacked interfaces, in which Ti atoms locate on the hollow site of interfacial C atoms (cases III and IV), are more thermodynamically stable with larger work of adhesion, and interfacial fracture toughness. The center-site-stacked (cases I and II) and top-site-stacked (cases V and VI) interfaces have a decreasing interface adhesion as the order. The electronic structure of hollow-site-stacked interface (case IV) gives the evidence that atomic bonding exists between interfacial C, Si, and Ti atoms, and the C-Ti bonds exhibit more covalent features than Si-Ti. The tilt direction of Ti atoms, namely the stacking style of Ti, has a subtle and secondary effect on the interface stability.

  13. Single-molecule studies of unconventional motor protein myosin VI

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, HyeongJun

    Myosin VI is one of the myosin superfamily members that are actin-based molecular motors. It has received special attention due to its distinct features as compared to other myosins, such as its opposite directionality and a much larger step size than expected given the length of its "leg". This dissertation presents the author.s graduate work of several single-molecule studies on myosin VI. Special attention was paid to some of myosin VI.s tail domains that consist of proximal tail (PT), medial tail (MT), distal tail (DT) domains and cargo-binding domain (CBD). The functional form of myosin VI in cells is still under debate. Although full length myosin VI proteins in cytosolic extracts of cells were monomers from earlier studies, there are several reasons why it is now believed that myosin VI could exist as a dimer. If this is true and dimerization occurs, the next logical question would be which parts of myosin VI are dimerization regions? One model claimed that the CBD is the sole dimerization region. A competing model claimed that there must be another region that could be involved in dimerization, based on their observation that a construct without the CBD could still dimerize. Our single-molecule experiment with progressively truncated myosin VI constructs showed that the MT domain is a dimerization region, supporting the latter model. Additional single-molecule experiments and molecular dynamics (MD) simulation done with our collaborators suggest that electrostatic salt bridges formed between positive and negative amino acid residues are mainly responsible for the MT domain dimerization. After resolving this, we are left with another important question which is how myosin VI can take such a large step. Recent crystal structure showed that one of the tail domains preceding the MT domain, called the PT domain, is a three-helix bundle. The most easily conceivable way might be an unfolding of the three-helix bundle upon dimerization, allowing the protein to

  14. Protein mechanics: from single molecules to functional biomaterials.

    PubMed

    Li, Hongbin; Cao, Yi

    2010-10-19

    Elastomeric proteins act as the essential functional units in a wide variety of biomechanical machinery and serve as the basic building blocks for biological materials that exhibit superb mechanical properties. These proteins provide the desired elasticity, mechanical strength, resilience, and toughness within these materials. Understanding the mechanical properties of elastomeric protein-based biomaterials is a multiscale problem spanning from the atomistic/molecular level to the macroscopic level. Uncovering the design principles of individual elastomeric building blocks is critical both for the scientific understanding of multiscale mechanics of biomaterials and for the rational engineering of novel biomaterials with desirable mechanical properties. The development of single-molecule force spectroscopy techniques has provided methods for characterizing mechanical properties of elastomeric proteins one molecule at a time. Single-molecule atomic force microscopy (AFM) is uniquely suited to this purpose. Molecular dynamic simulations, protein engineering techniques, and single-molecule AFM study have collectively revealed tremendous insights into the molecular design of single elastomeric proteins, which can guide the design and engineering of elastomeric proteins with tailored mechanical properties. Researchers are focusing experimental efforts toward engineering artificial elastomeric proteins with mechanical properties that mimic or even surpass those of natural elastomeric proteins. In this Account, we summarize our recent experimental efforts to engineer novel artificial elastomeric proteins and develop general and rational methodologies to tune the nanomechanical properties of elastomeric proteins at the single-molecule level. We focus on general design principles used for enhancing the mechanical stability of proteins. These principles include the development of metal-chelation-based general methodology, strategies to control the unfolding hierarchy of

  15. Intracellular bottom-up generation of targeted nanosensors for single-molecule imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hou, Yanyan; Arai, Satoshi; Kitaguchi, Tetsuya; Suzuki, Madoka

    2016-02-01

    Organic dyes are useful tools for sensing cellular activities but unfavorable in single-molecule imaging, whereas quantum dots (QDs) are widely applied in single-molecule imaging but with few sensing applications. Here, to visualize cellular activities by monitoring the response of a single probe in living cells, we propose a bottom-up approach to generate nanoprobes where four organic dyes are conjugated to tetravalent single-chain avidin (scAVD) proteins via an intracellular click reaction. We demonstrate that the nanoprobes, exhibiting increased brightness and enhanced photostability, were detectable as single dots in living cells. The ease of intracellular targeting allowed the tracking of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) remodeling with nanometer spatial resolution. Conjugating thermosensitive dyes generated temperature-sensitive nanoprobes on ER membranes that successfully monitored local temperature changes in response to external heat pulses. Our approach is potentially a suitable tool for visualizing localized cellular activities with single probe sensitivity in living cells.Organic dyes are useful tools for sensing cellular activities but unfavorable in single-molecule imaging, whereas quantum dots (QDs) are widely applied in single-molecule imaging but with few sensing applications. Here, to visualize cellular activities by monitoring the response of a single probe in living cells, we propose a bottom-up approach to generate nanoprobes where four organic dyes are conjugated to tetravalent single-chain avidin (scAVD) proteins via an intracellular click reaction. We demonstrate that the nanoprobes, exhibiting increased brightness and enhanced photostability, were detectable as single dots in living cells. The ease of intracellular targeting allowed the tracking of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) remodeling with nanometer spatial resolution. Conjugating thermosensitive dyes generated temperature-sensitive nanoprobes on ER membranes that successfully monitored local

  16. Passive water-lipid peptide translocators with conformational switches: From single-molecule probe to cellular assay

    PubMed Central

    Fernández, Ariel; Crespo, Alejandro; Blau, Axel

    2008-01-01

    Peptide design for unassisted passive water/lipid translocation remains a challenge, notwithstanding its importance for drug delivery. We introduce a design paradigm based on conformational switches operating as passive translocation vehicles. The interfacial behavior of the molecular prototype, probed in single-molecule AFM experiments, reveals a near-barrierless translocation. The associated free-energy agrees with mesoscopic measurements, and the in vitro behavior is quantitatively reproduced in cellular assays. The prototypes herald the advent of novel nano-biomaterials for passive translocation. PMID:18044863

  17. An Organolanthanide Building Block Approach to Single-Molecule Magnets.

    PubMed

    Harriman, Katie L M; Murugesu, Muralee

    2016-06-21

    Single-molecule magnets (SMMs) are highly sought after for their potential application in high-density information storage, spintronics, and quantum computing. SMMs exhibit slow relaxation of the magnetization of purely molecular origin, thus making them excellent candidates towards the aforementioned applications. In recent years, significant focus has been placed on the rare earth elements due to their large intrinsic magnetic anisotropy arising from the near degeneracy of the 4f orbitals. Traditionally, coordination chemistry has been utilized to fabricate lanthanide-based SMMs; however, heteroatomic donor atoms such as oxygen and nitrogen have limited orbital overlap with the shielded 4f orbitals. Thus, control over the anisotropic axis and induction of f-f interactions are limited, meaning that the performance of these systems can only extend so far. To this end, we have placed considerable attention on the development of novel SMMs whose donor atoms are conjugated hydrocarbons, thereby allowing us to perturb the crystal field of lanthanide ions through the use of an electronic π-cloud. This approach allows for fine tuning of the anisotropic axis of the molecule, allowing this method the potential to elicit SMMs capable of reaching much larger values for the two vital performance measurements of an SMM, the energy barrier to spin reversal (Ueff), and the blocking temperature of the magnetization (TB). In this Account, we describe our efforts to exploit the inherent anisotropy of the late 4f elements; namely, Dy(III) and Er(III), through the use of cyclooctatetraenyl (COT) metallocenes. With respect to the Er(III) derivatives, we have seen record breaking success, reaching blocking temperatures as high as 14 K with frozen solution magnetometry. These results represent the first example of such a high TB being observed for a system with only a single spin center, formally known as a single-ion magnet (SIM). Our continued interrelationship between theoretical

  18. An Organolanthanide Building Block Approach to Single-Molecule Magnets.

    PubMed

    Harriman, Katie L M; Murugesu, Muralee

    2016-06-21

    Single-molecule magnets (SMMs) are highly sought after for their potential application in high-density information storage, spintronics, and quantum computing. SMMs exhibit slow relaxation of the magnetization of purely molecular origin, thus making them excellent candidates towards the aforementioned applications. In recent years, significant focus has been placed on the rare earth elements due to their large intrinsic magnetic anisotropy arising from the near degeneracy of the 4f orbitals. Traditionally, coordination chemistry has been utilized to fabricate lanthanide-based SMMs; however, heteroatomic donor atoms such as oxygen and nitrogen have limited orbital overlap with the shielded 4f orbitals. Thus, control over the anisotropic axis and induction of f-f interactions are limited, meaning that the performance of these systems can only extend so far. To this end, we have placed considerable attention on the development of novel SMMs whose donor atoms are conjugated hydrocarbons, thereby allowing us to perturb the crystal field of lanthanide ions through the use of an electronic π-cloud. This approach allows for fine tuning of the anisotropic axis of the molecule, allowing this method the potential to elicit SMMs capable of reaching much larger values for the two vital performance measurements of an SMM, the energy barrier to spin reversal (Ueff), and the blocking temperature of the magnetization (TB). In this Account, we describe our efforts to exploit the inherent anisotropy of the late 4f elements; namely, Dy(III) and Er(III), through the use of cyclooctatetraenyl (COT) metallocenes. With respect to the Er(III) derivatives, we have seen record breaking success, reaching blocking temperatures as high as 14 K with frozen solution magnetometry. These results represent the first example of such a high TB being observed for a system with only a single spin center, formally known as a single-ion magnet (SIM). Our continued interrelationship between theoretical

  19. Interfacial water at the trialanine hydrophilic surface: a DFT electronic structure and bottom-up investigation.

    PubMed

    Lanza, Giuseppe; Chiacchio, Maria Assunta

    2015-07-14

    DFT-M062X quantum chemical computations on the Ala3H(+)·nH2O (n up to 37) complexes have been performed to model for hydration effects on the molecular properties of protonated trialanine. Following simple rules to arrange water molecules around the peptide, geometry optimization allows us to find four minima corresponding to the unfolded extended (β) and polyproline II (PPII) conformations. The peptide is incorporated into the network of hydrogen bonds of interfacial water molecules with a hydration energy of about -85 kcal mol(-1). The progressive hydration of the peptide shows a more efficient intermolecular hydrogen bonding in the PPII arrangement, and the following relative electronic energy stability β-β < β-PPII ≈ PPII-β < PPII-PPII has been found. The conformational entropy term proceeds in the reverse direction, thus these changes compensate in a way that leads to small changes in Gibbs free energy. These findings agree with experimental data which report an equilibrium between these conformers modulated by temperature. PMID:26066841

  20. Amorphous oxide alloys as interfacial layers with broadly tunable electronic structures for organic photovoltaic cells

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Nanjia; Kim, Myung-Gil; Loser, Stephen; Smith, Jeremy; Yoshida, Hiroyuki; Guo, Xugang; Song, Charles; Jin, Hosub; Chen, Zhihua; Yoon, Seok Min; Freeman, Arthur J.; Chang, Robert P. H.; Facchetti, Antonio; Marks, Tobin J.

    2015-01-01

    In diverse classes of organic optoelectronic devices, controlling charge injection, extraction, and blocking across organic semiconductor–inorganic electrode interfaces is crucial for enhancing quantum efficiency and output voltage. To this end, the strategy of inserting engineered interfacial layers (IFLs) between electrical contacts and organic semiconductors has significantly advanced organic light-emitting diode and organic thin film transistor performance. For organic photovoltaic (OPV) devices, an electronically flexible IFL design strategy to incrementally tune energy level matching between the inorganic electrode system and the organic photoactive components without varying the surface chemistry would permit OPV cells to adapt to ever-changing generations of photoactive materials. Here we report the implementation of chemically/environmentally robust, low-temperature solution-processed amorphous transparent semiconducting oxide alloys, In-Ga-O and Ga-Zn-Sn-O, as IFLs for inverted OPVs. Continuous variation of the IFL compositions tunes the conduction band minima over a broad range, affording optimized OPV power conversion efficiencies for multiple classes of organic active layer materials and establishing clear correlations between IFL/photoactive layer energetics and device performance. PMID:26080437

  1. Amorphous oxide alloys as interfacial layers with broadly tunable electronic structures for organic photovoltaic cells.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Nanjia; Kim, Myung-Gil; Loser, Stephen; Smith, Jeremy; Yoshida, Hiroyuki; Guo, Xugang; Song, Charles; Jin, Hosub; Chen, Zhihua; Yoon, Seok Min; Freeman, Arthur J; Chang, Robert P H; Facchetti, Antonio; Marks, Tobin J

    2015-06-30

    In diverse classes of organic optoelectronic devices, controlling charge injection, extraction, and blocking across organic semiconductor-inorganic electrode interfaces is crucial for enhancing quantum efficiency and output voltage. To this end, the strategy of inserting engineered interfacial layers (IFLs) between electrical contacts and organic semiconductors has significantly advanced organic light-emitting diode and organic thin film transistor performance. For organic photovoltaic (OPV) devices, an electronically flexible IFL design strategy to incrementally tune energy level matching between the inorganic electrode system and the organic photoactive components without varying the surface chemistry would permit OPV cells to adapt to ever-changing generations of photoactive materials. Here we report the implementation of chemically/environmentally robust, low-temperature solution-processed amorphous transparent semiconducting oxide alloys, In-Ga-O and Ga-Zn-Sn-O, as IFLs for inverted OPVs. Continuous variation of the IFL compositions tunes the conduction band minima over a broad range, affording optimized OPV power conversion efficiencies for multiple classes of organic active layer materials and establishing clear correlations between IFL/photoactive layer energetics and device performance.

  2. A single-molecule force spectroscopy study of the interactions between lectins and carbohydrates on cancer and normal cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Weidong; Cai, Mingjun; Xu, Haijiao; Jiang, Junguang; Wang, Hongda

    2013-03-01

    The interaction forces between carbohydrates and lectins were investigated by single-molecule force spectroscopy on both cancer and normal cells. The binding kinetics was also studied, which shows that the carbohydrate-lectin complex on cancer cells is less stable than that on normal cells.The interaction forces between carbohydrates and lectins were investigated by single-molecule force spectroscopy on both cancer and normal cells. The binding kinetics was also studied, which shows that the carbohydrate-lectin complex on cancer cells is less stable than that on normal cells. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available: Experimental details. See DOI: 10.1039/c3nr00553d

  3. Single Molecule Bioelectronics and Their Application to Amplification-Free Measurement of DNA Lengths

    PubMed Central

    Gül, O. Tolga; Pugliese, Kaitlin M.; Choi, Yongki; Sims, Patrick C.; Pan, Deng; Rajapakse, Arith J.; Weiss, Gregory A.; Collins, Philip G.

    2016-01-01

    As biosensing devices shrink smaller and smaller, they approach a scale in which single molecule electronic sensing becomes possible. Here, we review the operation of single-enzyme transistors made using single-walled carbon nanotubes. These novel hybrid devices transduce the motions and catalytic activity of a single protein into an electronic signal for real-time monitoring of the protein’s activity. Analysis of these electronic signals reveals new insights into enzyme function and proves the electronic technique to be complementary to other single-molecule methods based on fluorescence. As one example of the nanocircuit technique, we have studied the Klenow Fragment (KF) of DNA polymerase I as it catalytically processes single-stranded DNA templates. The fidelity of DNA polymerases makes them a key component in many DNA sequencing techniques, and here we demonstrate that KF nanocircuits readily resolve DNA polymerization with single-base sensitivity. Consequently, template lengths can be directly counted from electronic recordings of KF’s base-by-base activity. After measuring as few as 20 copies, the template length can be determined with <1 base pair resolution, and different template lengths can be identified and enumerated in solutions containing template mixtures. PMID:27348011

  4. Single-molecule studies of kinesin family motor proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fordyce, Polly

    Kinesin family motor proteins drive many essential cellular processes, including cargo transport and mitotic spindle assembly and regulation. They accomplish these tasks by converting the chemical energy released from the hydrolysis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) directly into mechanical motion along microtubules in cells. Optical traps allow us to track and apply force to individual motor proteins, and have already revealed many details of the movement of conventional kinesin, although the precise mechanism by which chemical energy is converted into mechanical motion is unclear. Other kinesin family members remain largely uncharacterized. This dissertation details the use of a novel optical-trapping assay to study Eg5, a Kinesin-5 family member involved in both spindle assembly and pole separation during mitosis. We demonstrate that individual Eg5 dimers are relatively slow and force-insensitive motors that take about 8 steps, on average, before detaching from the microtubule. Key differences in processivity and force-response between Eg5 and conventional kinesin suggest ways in which the two motors might have evolved to perform very different tasks in cells. This dissertation also details efforts to unravel how chemical energy is converted into mechanical motion by simultaneously measuring mechanical transitions (with an optical trap) and nucleotide binding and release (with single-molecule fluorescence) for individual conventional kinesin motors. We constructed a combined instrument, demonstrated its capabilities by unzipping fluorescently-labeled DNA duplexes, and used this instrument to record the motion of individual conventional kinesin motors powered by the hydrolysis of fluorescent nucleotides. Preliminary data reveal the challenges inherent in such measurements and guide proposals for future experimental approaches. Finally, this dissertation includes several chapters intended to serve as practical guides to understanding, constructing, and maintaining

  5. Analytical tools for single-molecule fluorescence imaging in cellulo.

    PubMed

    Leake, M C

    2014-07-01

    Recent technological advances in cutting-edge ultrasensitive fluorescence microscopy have allowed single-molecule imaging experiments in living cells across all three domains of life to become commonplace. Single-molecule live-cell data is typically obtained in a low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) regime sometimes only marginally in excess of 1, in which a combination of detector shot noise, sub-optimal probe photophysics, native cell autofluorescence and intrinsically underlying stochasticity of molecules result in highly noisy datasets for which underlying true molecular behaviour is non-trivial to discern. The ability to elucidate real molecular phenomena is essential in relating experimental single-molecule observations to both the biological system under study as well as offering insight into the fine details of the physical and chemical environments of the living cell. To confront this problem of faithful signal extraction and analysis in a noise-dominated regime, the 'needle in a haystack' challenge, such experiments benefit enormously from a suite of objective, automated, high-throughput analysis tools that can home in on the underlying 'molecular signature' and generate meaningful statistics across a large population of individual cells and molecules. Here, I discuss the development and application of several analytical methods applied to real case studies, including objective methods of segmenting cellular images from light microscopy data, tools to robustly localize and track single fluorescently-labelled molecules, algorithms to objectively interpret molecular mobility, analysis protocols to reliably estimate molecular stoichiometry and turnover, and methods to objectively render distributions of molecular parameters.

  6. Memory effects and oscillations in single-molecule kinetics.

    PubMed

    Vlad, Marcel O; Moran, Federico; Schneider, Friedemann W; Ross, John

    2002-10-01

    An exactly solvable model for single-molecule kinetics is suggested, based on the following assumptions: (i) A single molecule can exist in different chemical states and the random transitions from one chemical state to another can be described by a local master equation with time-dependent transition rates. (ii) Because of conformational and other intramolecular fluctuations the rate coefficients in the master equation are random functions of time; their stochastic properties are represented in terms of a set of control parameters. We assume that the fluctuating rate coefficients fulfill a separability condition, that is, they are made up of the multiplicative contributions of two factors: (a) a universal factor, which depends on the vector of control parameters and is the same for all chemical transformation processes and (b) process-dependent factors, which depend on the initial and final chemical states of the molecule but are independent of the control parameters. For systems with two chemical states the condition of separability is automatically fulfilled. We introduce an intrinsic time scale, which makes it possible to compute theoretically various experimental observables, such as the correlation functions of the fluorescent signal. We analyze the connections between the condition of separability and detailed balance, and discuss the possible cause of chemical oscillations in single molecule kinetics. We show that the intrinsic dynamics of the molecule, expressed by the fluctuations of the control parameters, may lead to damped oscillations of the correlation functions of the fluorescent signal. The influence of the random fluctuations on the control parameters may be described by a renormalized master equation with nonfluctuating apparent rate coefficients. The apparent rate coefficients do not have to obey a condition of detailed balance, even though the real rate coefficients do obey such a condition. It follows that the renormalized master equation may

  7. Ultrafast Photoinduced Interfacial Proton Coupled Electron Transfer from CdSe Quantum Dots to 4,4'-Bipyridine.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jinquan; Wu, Kaifeng; Rudshteyn, Benjamin; Jia, Yanyan; Ding, Wendu; Xie, Zhao-Xiong; Batista, Victor S; Lian, Tianquan

    2016-01-27

    Pyridine and derivatives have been reported as efficient and selective catalysts for the electrochemical and photoelectrochemical reduction of CO2 to methanol. Although the catalytic mechanism remains a subject of considerable recent debate, most proposed models involve interfacial proton coupled electron transfer (PCET) to electrode-bound catalysts. We report a combined experimental and theoretical study of the photoreduction of 4,4'-bipyridium (bPYD) using CdSe quantum dots (QDs) as a model system for interfacial PCET. We observed ultrafast photoinduced PCET from CdSe QDs to form doubly protonated [bPYDH2](+•) radical cations at low pH (4-6). Through studies of the dependence of PCET rate on isotopic substitution, pH and bPYD concentration, the radical formation mechanism was identified to be a sequential interfacial electron and proton transfer (ET/PT) process with a rate-limiting pH independent electron transfer rate constant, kint, of 1.05 ± 0.13 × 10(10) s(-1) between a QD and an adsorbed singly protonated [bPYDH](+). Theoretical studies of the adsorption of [bPYDH](+) and methylviologen on QD surfaces revealed important effects of hydrogen bonding with the capping ligand (3-mercaptopropionic acid) on binding geometry and interfacial PCET. In the presence of sacrificial electron donors, this system was shown to be capable of generating [bPYDH2](+•) radical cations under continuous illumination at 405 nm with a steady-state photoreduction quantum yield of 1.1 ± 0.1% at pH 4. The mechanism of bPYD photoreduction reported in this work may provide useful insights into the catalytic roles of pyridine and pyridine derivatives in the electrochemical and photoelectrochemical reduction of CO2. PMID:26713752

  8. Characterizing 3D RNA structure by single molecule FRET.

    PubMed

    Stephenson, James D; Kenyon, Julia C; Symmons, Martyn F; Lever, Andrew M L

    2016-07-01

    The importance of elucidating the three dimensional structures of RNA molecules is becoming increasingly clear. However, traditional protein structural techniques such as NMR and X-ray crystallography have several important drawbacks when probing long RNA molecules. Single molecule Förster resonance energy transfer (smFRET) has emerged as a useful alternative as it allows native sequences to be probed in physiological conditions and allows multiple conformations to be probed simultaneously. This review serves to describe the method of generating a three dimensional RNA structure from smFRET data from the biochemical probing of the secondary structure to the computational refinement of the final model.

  9. Single molecule studies of RNA polymerase II transcription in vitro.

    PubMed

    Horn, Abigail E; Goodrich, James A; Kugel, Jennifer F

    2014-01-01

    Eukaryotic mRNA transcription by RNA polymerase II (RNAP II) is the first step in gene expression and a key determinant of cellular regulation. Elucidating the mechanism by which RNAP II synthesizes RNA is therefore vital to determining how genes are controlled under diverse biological conditions. Significant advances in understanding RNAP II transcription have been achieved using classical biochemical and structural techniques; however, aspects of the transcription mechanism cannot be assessed using these approaches. The application of single-molecule techniques to study RNAP II transcription has provided new insight only obtainable by studying molecules in this complex system one at a time.

  10. Detection of pathogenic DNA at the single-molecule level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yahiatène, Idir; Klamp, Tobias; Schüttpelz, Mark; Sauer, Markus

    2011-03-01

    We demonstrate ultrasensitive detection of pathogenic DNA in a homogeneous assay at the single-molecule level applying two-color coincidence analysis. The target molecule we quantify is a 100 nucleotide long synthetic single-stranded oligonucleotide adapted from Streptococcus pneumoniae, a bacterium causing lower respiratory tract infections. Using spontaneous hybridization of two differently fluorescing Molecular Beacons we demonstrate a detection sensitivity of 100 fM (10-13M) in 30 seconds applying a simple microfluidic device with a 100 μm channel and confocal two-color fluorescence microscopy.

  11. Single Molecule Spectroscopy Illuminating the Molecular Dynamics of Life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Webb, Watt W.

    This chapter summarizes a series of new single-molecule spectroscopy investigations in the life sciences at Cornell University that began with our invention of Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy (FCS) about 1970. Our invention of FCS became my first focus on the "Molecular Dynamics of Life." It motivated my transition from research on quantum fluctuations and transport in condensed matter physics including superconductivity and in the molecular dynamics of coherent fluctuations and nano-transport in inanimate physical and chemical systems subject to the nonlinear dynamics of continuous phase transitions. These interdisciplinary transitions exemplify the productivity of such interdisciplinary interactions in science.

  12. Single molecule studies of helicases with magnetic tweezers.

    PubMed

    Hodeib, Samar; Raj, Saurabh; Manosas, M; Zhang, Weiting; Bagchi, Debjani; Ducos, Bertrand; Allemand, Jean-François; Bensimon, David; Croquette, Vincent

    2016-08-01

    Helicases are a broad family of enzymes that perform crucial functions in DNA replication and in the maintenance of DNA and RNA integrity. A detailed mechanical study of helicases on DNA and RNA is possible using single molecule manipulation methods. Among those, magnetic tweezers (or traps) present a convenient, moderate throughput assay (tens of enzymes can be monitored simultaneously) that allow for high resolution (single base-pair) studies of these enzymes in various conditions and on various substrates (double and single stranded DNA and RNA). Here we discuss various implementation of the basic assay relevant for these studies. PMID:27371121

  13. Multiplexed single-molecule force spectroscopy using a centrifuge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Darren; Ward, Andrew; Halvorsen, Ken; Wong, Wesley P.

    2016-03-01

    We present a miniature centrifuge force microscope (CFM) that repurposes a benchtop centrifuge for high-throughput single-molecule experiments with high-resolution particle tracking, a large force range, temperature control and simple push-button operation. Incorporating DNA nanoswitches to enable repeated interrogation by force of single molecular pairs, we demonstrate increased throughput, reliability and the ability to characterize population heterogeneity. We perform spatiotemporally multiplexed experiments to collect 1,863 bond rupture statistics from 538 traceable molecular pairs in a single experiment, and show that 2 populations of DNA zippers can be distinguished using per-molecule statistics to reduce noise.

  14. Multiplexed single-molecule force spectroscopy using a centrifuge.

    PubMed

    Yang, Darren; Ward, Andrew; Halvorsen, Ken; Wong, Wesley P

    2016-01-01

    We present a miniature centrifuge force microscope (CFM) that repurposes a benchtop centrifuge for high-throughput single-molecule experiments with high-resolution particle tracking, a large force range, temperature control and simple push-button operation. Incorporating DNA nanoswitches to enable repeated interrogation by force of single molecular pairs, we demonstrate increased throughput, reliability and the ability to characterize population heterogeneity. We perform spatiotemporally multiplexed experiments to collect 1,863 bond rupture statistics from 538 traceable molecular pairs in a single experiment, and show that 2 populations of DNA zippers can be distinguished using per-molecule statistics to reduce noise. PMID:26984516

  15. DNA heterogeneity and phosphorylation unveiled by single-molecule electrophoresis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Hui; Dunning, James E.; Huang, Albert P.-H.; Nyamwanda, Jacqueline A.; Branton, Daniel

    2004-09-01

    Broad-spectrum analysis of DNA and RNA samples is of increasing importance in the growing field of biotechnology. We show that nanopore measurements may be used to assess the purity, phosphorylation state, and chemical integrity of nucleic acid preparations. In contrast with gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry, an unprecedented dynamic range of DNA sizes and concentrations can be evaluated in a single data acquisition process that spans minutes. Because the molecule information is quantized and digitally recorded with single-molecule resolution, the sensitivity of the system can be adjusted in real time to detect trace amounts of a particular DNA species.

  16. Multiphoton cascade absorption in single molecule fluorescence saturation spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Winckler, Pascale; Jaffiol, Rodolphe

    2013-05-01

    Saturation spectroscopy is a relevant method to investigate photophysical parameters of single fluorescent molecules. Nevertheless, the impact of a gradual increase, over a broad range, of the laser excitation on the intramolecular dynamics is not completely understood, particularly concerning their fluorescence emission (the so-called brightness). Thus, we propose a comprehensive theoretical and experimental study to interpret the unexpected evolution of the brightness with the laser power taking into account the cascade absorption of two and three photons. Furthermore, we highlight the key role played by the confocal observation volume in fluorescence saturation spectroscopy of single molecules in solution.

  17. Multiplexed single-molecule force spectroscopy using a centrifuge

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Darren; Ward, Andrew; Halvorsen, Ken; Wong, Wesley P.

    2016-01-01

    We present a miniature centrifuge force microscope (CFM) that repurposes a benchtop centrifuge for high-throughput single-molecule experiments with high-resolution particle tracking, a large force range, temperature control and simple push-button operation. Incorporating DNA nanoswitches to enable repeated interrogation by force of single molecular pairs, we demonstrate increased throughput, reliability and the ability to characterize population heterogeneity. We perform spatiotemporally multiplexed experiments to collect 1,863 bond rupture statistics from 538 traceable molecular pairs in a single experiment, and show that 2 populations of DNA zippers can be distinguished using per-molecule statistics to reduce noise. PMID:26984516

  18. Single molecule studies of helicases with magnetic tweezers.

    PubMed

    Hodeib, Samar; Raj, Saurabh; Manosas, M; Zhang, Weiting; Bagchi, Debjani; Ducos, Bertrand; Allemand, Jean-François; Bensimon, David; Croquette, Vincent

    2016-08-01

    Helicases are a broad family of enzymes that perform crucial functions in DNA replication and in the maintenance of DNA and RNA integrity. A detailed mechanical study of helicases on DNA and RNA is possible using single molecule manipulation methods. Among those, magnetic tweezers (or traps) present a convenient, moderate throughput assay (tens of enzymes can be monitored simultaneously) that allow for high resolution (single base-pair) studies of these enzymes in various conditions and on various substrates (double and single stranded DNA and RNA). Here we discuss various implementation of the basic assay relevant for these studies.

  19. Single Molecule Studies on Dynamics in Liquid Crystals

    PubMed Central

    Täuber, Daniela; von Borczyskowski, Christian

    2013-01-01

    Single molecule (SM) methods are able to resolve structure related dynamics of guest molecules in liquid crystals (LC). Highly diluted small dye molecules on the one hand explore structure formation and LC dynamics, on the other hand they report about a distortion caused by the guest molecules. The anisotropic structure of LC materials is used to retrieve specific conformation related properties of larger guest molecules like conjugated polymers. This in particular sheds light on organization mechanisms within biological cells, where large molecules are found in nematic LC surroundings. This review gives a short overview related to the application of highly sensitive SM detection schemes in LC. PMID:24077123

  20. Recent developments in single-molecule DNA mechanics

    PubMed Central

    Bryant, Zev; Oberstrass, Florian C.; Basu, Aakash

    2013-01-01

    Over the past two decades, measurements on individual stretched and twisted DNA molecules have helped define the basic elastic properties of the double helix and enabled real-time functional assays of DNA-associated molecular machines. Recently, new magnetic tweezers approaches for simultaneously measuring freely fluctuating twist and extension have begun to shed light on the structural dynamics of large nucleoprotein complexes. Related technical advances have facilitated direct measurements of DNA torque, contributing to a better understanding of abrupt structural transitions in mechanically stressed DNA. The new measurements have also been exploited in studies that hint at a developing synergistic relationship between single-molecule manipulation and structural DNA nanotechnology. PMID:22658779

  1. Single Molecule as a Local Acoustic Detector for Mechanical Oscillators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tian, Yuxi; Navarro, Pedro; Orrit, Michel

    2014-09-01

    A single molecule can serve as a nanometer-sized detector of acoustic strain. Such a nanomicrophone has the great advantage that it can be placed very close to acoustic signal sources and high sensitivities can be achieved. We demonstrate this scheme by monitoring the fluorescence intensity of a single dibenzoterrylene molecule in an anthracene crystal attached to an oscillating tuning fork. The characterization of the vibration amplitude and of the detection sensitivity is a first step towards detection and control of nanomechanical oscillators through optical detection and feedback.

  2. Rational design of DNA-actuated enzyme nanoreactors guided by single molecule analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dhakal, Soma; Adendorff, Matthew R.; Liu, Minghui; Yan, Hao; Bathe, Mark; Walter, Nils G.

    2016-01-01

    heterogeneity. Upon rational redesign of the Holliday junctions located at their hinge and arms, we found that the DNA tweezers could be more completely and uniformly closed. A novel single molecule enzyme assay was developed to demonstrate that our design improvements yield significant, independent enhancements in the fraction of active enzyme nanoreactors and their individual substrate turnover frequencies. The sequence-level design strategies explored here may aid more broadly in improving the performance of DNA-based nanodevices including biological and chemical sensors. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available: Details of the DNA sequences, assembly, and bulk characterization of all DNA tweezers; details of the smFRET characterization of the tweezers; additional AFM images; detailed results of MD simulation; bulk measurement of tweezer-scaffolded G6pDH activity; and single molecule measurements of tweezer-scaffolded G6pDH activity. See DOI: 10.1039/c5nr07263h

  3. Tuning Charge and Correlation Effects for a Single Molecule on a Graphene Device

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsai, Hsin-Zon; Wickenburg, Sebastian; Lu, Jiong; Lischner, Johannes; Omrani, Arash A.; Riss, Alexander; Karrasch, Christoph; Jung, Han Sae; Khajeh, Ramin; Wong, Dillon; Watanabe, Kenji; Taniguchi, Takashi; Zettl, Alex; Louie, Steven G.; Crommie, Michael F.

    Controlling electronic devices down to the single molecule level is a grand challenge of nanotechnology. Single-molecules have been integrated into devices capable of tuning electronic response, but a drawback for these systems is that their microscopic structure remains unknown due to inability to image molecules in the junction region. Here we present a combined STM and nc-AFM study demonstrating gate-tunable control of the charge state of individual F4TCNQ molecules at the surface of a graphene field effect transistor. This is different from previous studies in that the Fermi level of the substrate was continuously tuned across the molecular orbital energy level. Using STS we have determined the resulting energy level evolution of the LUMO, its associated vibronic modes, and the graphene Dirac point (ED). We show that the energy difference between ED and the LUMO increases as EF is moved away from ED due to electron-electron interactions that renormalize the molecular quasiparticle energy. This is attributed to gate-tunable image-charge screening in graphene and corroborated by ab initio calculations.

  4. Incorporating single molecules into electrical circuits. The role of the chemical anchoring group.

    PubMed

    Leary, Edmund; La Rosa, Andrea; González, M Teresa; Rubio-Bollinger, Gabino; Agraït, Nicolás; Martín, Nazario

    2015-02-21

    Constructing electronic circuits containing singly wired molecules is at the frontier of electrical device miniaturisation. When a molecule is wired between a pair of electrodes, the two points of contact are determined by the chemical anchoring groups, located at the ends of the molecule. At this point, when a bias is applied, electrons are channelled from a metallic environment through an extremely narrow constriction, essentially a single atom, into the molecule. The fact that this is such an abrupt change in the electron pathway makes the nature of the chemical anchoring groups critically important regarding the propagation of electrons from the electrode across the molecule. A delicate interplay of phenomena can occur when a molecule binds to the electrodes, which can produce profound differences in conductance properties depending on the anchoring group. This makes answering the question "what is the best anchoring group for single molecule studies" far from straight forward. In this review, we firstly take a look at techniques developed to 'wire-up' single molecules, as understanding their limitations is key when assessing a molecular wire's performance. We then analyse the various chemical anchoring groups, and discuss their merits and disadvantages. Finally we discuss some theoretical concepts of molecular junctions to understand how transport is affected by the nature of the chemical anchor group.

  5. New tools for elucidating the environmental origins of single molecule photoluminescence intermittency

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hess, Chelsea M.; Rudolph, Angela R.; Reid, Philip J.

    2015-05-01

    New experimental and analysis methods for investigating the role local environment has on photoluminescence intermittency (PI) exhibited by single luminophores are presented. Quasi-single molecule (SM) microscopy provides spatial resolution of dielectric environments within poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) films, and reveals annealing's effect on the structural phase of PVDF. New analysis methods establish that the PI exhibited by nile red (NR) SMs in PVDF are consistent with photoinduced electron transfer between NR and PVDF, where transfer rates depend on local dielectric environment. These methods should prove useful for SM studies of guest-host materials where elucidating PI contribution from the host is required.

  6. Common fluorescent proteins for single-molecule localization microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klementieva, Natalia V.; Bozhanova, Nina G.; Mishina, Natalie M.; Zagaynova, Elena V.; Lukyanov, Konstantin A.; Mishin, Alexander S.

    2015-07-01

    Super-resolution techniques for breaking the diffraction barrier are spread out over multiple studies nowadays. Single-molecule localization microscopy such as PALM, STORM, GSDIM, etc allow to get super-resolved images of cell ultrastructure by precise localization of individual fluorescent molecules via their temporal isolation. However, these methods are supposed the use of fluorescent dyes and proteins with special characteristics (photoactivation/photoconversion). At the same time, there is a need for retaining high photostability of fluorophores during long-term acquisition. Here, we first showed the potential of common red fluorescent protein for single-molecule localization microscopy based on spontaneous intrinsic blinking. Also, we assessed the effect of different imaging media on photobleaching of these fluorescent proteins. Monomeric orange and red fluorescent proteins were examined for stochastic switching from a dark state to a bright fluorescent state. We studied fusions with cytoskeletal proteins in NIH/3T3 and HeLa cells. Imaging was performed on the Nikon N-STORM system equipped with EMCCD camera. To define the optimal imaging conditions we tested several types of cell culture media and buffers. As a result, high-resolution images of cytoskeleton structure were obtained. Essentially, low-intensity light was sufficient to initiate the switching of tested red fluorescent protein reducing phototoxicity and provide long-term live-cell imaging.

  7. Single molecule study of a processivity clamp sliding on DNA

    SciTech Connect

    Laurence, T A; Kwon, Y; Johnson, A; Hollars, C; O?Donnell, M; Camarero, J A; Barsky, D

    2007-07-05

    Using solution based single molecule spectroscopy, we study the motion of the polIII {beta}-subunit DNA sliding clamp ('{beta}-clamp') on DNA. Present in all cellular (and some viral) forms of life, DNA sliding clamps attach to polymerases and allow rapid, processive replication of DNA. In the absence of other proteins, the DNA sliding clamps are thought to 'freely slide' along the DNA; however, the abundance of positively charged residues along the inner surface may create favorable electrostatic contact with the highly negatively charged DNA. We have performed single-molecule measurements on a fluorescently labeled {beta}-clamp loaded onto freely diffusing plasmids annealed with fluorescently labeled primers of up to 90 bases. We find that the diffusion constant for 1D diffusion of the {beta}-clamp on DNA satisfies D {le} 10{sup -14} cm{sup 2}/s, much slower than the frictionless limit of D = 10{sup -10} cm{sup 2}/s. We find that the {beta} clamp remains at the 3-foot end in the presence of E. coli single-stranded binding protein (SSB), which would allow for a sliding clamp to wait for binding of the DNA polymerase. Replacement of SSB with Human RP-A eliminates this interaction; free movement of sliding clamp and poor binding of clamp loader to the junction allows sliding clamp to accumulate on DNA. This result implies that the clamp not only acts as a tether, but also a placeholder.

  8. Tunable magnetoresistance in an asymmetrically coupled single-molecule junction.

    PubMed

    Warner, Ben; El Hallak, Fadi; Prüser, Henning; Sharp, John; Persson, Mats; Fisher, Andrew J; Hirjibehedin, Cyrus F

    2015-03-01

    Phenomena that are highly sensitive to magnetic fields can be exploited in sensors and non-volatile memories. The scaling of such phenomena down to the single-molecule level may enable novel spintronic devices. Here, we report magnetoresistance in a single-molecule junction arising from negative differential resistance that shifts in a magnetic field at a rate two orders of magnitude larger than Zeeman shifts. This sensitivity to the magnetic field produces two voltage-tunable forms of magnetoresistance, which can be selected via the applied bias. The negative differential resistance is caused by transient charging of an iron phthalocyanine (FePc) molecule on a single layer of copper nitride (Cu2N) on a Cu(001) surface, and occurs at voltages corresponding to the alignment of sharp resonances in the filled and empty molecular states with the Cu(001) Fermi energy. An asymmetric voltage-divider effect enhances the apparent voltage shift of the negative differential resistance with magnetic field, which inherently is on the scale of the Zeeman energy. These results illustrate the impact that asymmetric coupling to metallic electrodes can have on transport through molecules, and highlight how this coupling can be used to develop molecular spintronic applications. PMID:25622229

  9. Single-molecule microscopy using tunable nanoscale confinement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McFaul, Christopher M. J.; Leith, Jason; Jia, Bojing; Michaud, François; Arsenault, Adriel; Martin, Andrew; Berard, Daniel; Leslie, Sabrina

    2013-09-01

    We present the design, construction and implementation of a modular microscopy device that transforms a basic inverted fluorescence microscope into a versatile single-molecule imaging system. The device uses Convex Lens- Induced Confinement (CLIC) to improve background rejection and extend diffusion-limited observation time. To facilitate its integration into a wide range of laboratories, this implementation of the CLIC device can use a standard flow-cell, into which the sample is loaded. By mechanically deforming the flow-cell, the device creates a tunable, wedge-shaped imaging chamber which we have modeled using finite element analysis simulations and characterized experimentally using interferometry. A powerful feature of CLIC imaging technology is the ability to examine single molecules under a continuum of applied confinement, from the nanometer to the micrometer scale. We demonstrate, using freely diffusing λ-phage DNA, that when the imposed confinement is on the scale of individual molecules their molecular conformations and diffusivity are altered significantly. To improve the flow-cell stiffness, seal, and re-usability, we have innovated the fabrication of thin PDMS-bonded flow-cells. The presented flow-cell CLIC technology can be combined with surface-lithography to provide an accessible and powerful approach to tune, trap, and image individual molecules under an extended range of imaging conditions. It is well-suited to tackling open problems in biophysics, biotechnology, nanotechnology, materials science, and chemistry.

  10. Tunable magnetoresistance in an asymmetrically coupled single-molecule junction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Warner, Ben; El Hallak, Fadi; Prüser, Henning; Sharp, John; Persson, Mats; Fisher, Andrew J.; Hirjibehedin, Cyrus F.

    2015-03-01

    Phenomena that are highly sensitive to magnetic fields can be exploited in sensors and non-volatile memories. The scaling of such phenomena down to the single-molecule level may enable novel spintronic devices. Here, we report magnetoresistance in a single-molecule junction arising from negative differential resistance that shifts in a magnetic field at a rate two orders of magnitude larger than Zeeman shifts. This sensitivity to the magnetic field produces two voltage-tunable forms of magnetoresistance, which can be selected via the applied bias. The negative differential resistance is caused by transient charging of an iron phthalocyanine (FePc) molecule on a single layer of copper nitride (Cu2N) on a Cu(001) surface, and occurs at voltages corresponding to the alignment of sharp resonances in the filled and empty molecular states with the Cu(001) Fermi energy. An asymmetric voltage-divider effect enhances the apparent voltage shift of the negative differential resistance with magnetic field, which inherently is on the scale of the Zeeman energy. These results illustrate the impact that asymmetric coupling to metallic electrodes can have on transport through molecules, and highlight how this coupling can be used to develop molecular spintronic applications.

  11. Surface passivation for single-molecule protein studies.

    PubMed

    Chandradoss, Stanley D; Haagsma, Anna C; Lee, Young Kwang; Hwang, Jae-Ho; Nam, Jwa-Min; Joo, Chirlmin

    2014-04-24

    Single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy has proven to be instrumental in understanding a wide range of biological phenomena at the nanoscale. Important examples of what this technique can yield to biological sciences are the mechanistic insights on protein-protein and protein-nucleic acid interactions. When interactions of proteins are probed at the single-molecule level, the proteins or their substrates are often immobilized on a glass surface, which allows for a long-term observation. This immobilization scheme may introduce unwanted surface artifacts. Therefore, it is essential to passivate the glass surface to make it inert. Surface coating using polyethylene glycol (PEG) stands out for its high performance in preventing proteins from non-specifically interacting with a glass surface. However, the polymer coating procedure is difficult, due to the complication arising from a series of surface treatments and the stringent requirement that a surface needs to be free of any fluorescent molecules at the end of the procedure. Here, we provide a robust protocol with step-by-step instructions. It covers surface cleaning including piranha etching, surface functionalization with amine groups, and finally PEG coating. To obtain a high density of a PEG layer, we introduce a new strategy of treating the surface with PEG molecules over two rounds, which remarkably improves the quality of passivation. We provide representative results as well as practical advice for each critical step so that anyone can achieve the high quality surface passivation.

  12. Information Bounds and Optimal Analysis of Dynamic Single Molecule Measurements

    PubMed Central

    Watkins, Lucas P.; Yang, Haw

    2004-01-01

    Time-resolved single molecule fluorescence measurements may be used to probe the conformational dynamics of biological macromolecules. The best time resolution in such techniques will only be achieved by measuring the arrival times of individual photons at the detector. A general approach to the estimation of molecular parameters based on individual photon arrival times is presented. The amount of information present in a data set is quantified by the Fisher information, thereby providing a guide to deriving the basic equations relating measurement uncertainties and time resolution. Based on these information-theoretical considerations, a data analysis algorithm is presented that details the optimal analysis of single-molecule data. This method natively accounts and corrects for background photons and cross talk, and can scale to an arbitrary number of channels. By construction, and with corroboration from computer simulations, we show that this algorithm reaches the theoretical limit, extracting the maximal information out of the data. The bias inherent in the algorithm is considered and its implications for experimental design are discussed. The ideas underlying this approach are general and are expected to be applicable to any information-limited measurement. PMID:15189897

  13. Probing Protein Channel Dynamics At The Single Molecule Level.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, M. Ann; Dunn, Robert C.

    1997-03-01

    It would be difficult to overstate the importance played by protein ion channels in cellular function. These macromolecular pores allow the passage of ions across the cellular membrane and play indispensable roles in all aspects of neurophysiology. While the patch-clamp technique continues to provide elegant descriptions of the kinetic processes involved in ion channel gating, the associated conformational changes remain a mystery. We are using the spectroscopic capabilities and single molecule fluorescence sensitivity of near-field scanning optical microscopy (NSOM) to probe these dynamics at the single channel level. Using a newly developed cantilevered NSOM probe capable of probing soft biological samples with single molecule fluorescence sensitivity, we have begun mapping the location of single NMDA receptors in intact rat cortical neurons with <100 nm spatial resolution. We will also present recent results exploring the conformational changes accompanying activation of nuclear pore channels located in the nuclear membrane of Xenopus oocytes. Our recent NSOM and AFM measurements on single nuclear pore complexes reveal large conformational changes taking place upon activation, providing rich, new molecular level details of channel function.

  14. From single molecules to life: microscopy at the nanoscale.

    PubMed

    Turkowyd, Bartosz; Virant, David; Endesfelder, Ulrike

    2016-10-01

    Super-resolution microscopy is the term commonly given to fluorescence microscopy techniques with resolutions that are not limited by the diffraction of light. Since their conception a little over a decade ago, these techniques have quickly become the method of choice for many biologists studying structures and processes of single cells at the nanoscale. In this review, we present the three main approaches used to tackle the diffraction barrier of ∼200 nm: stimulated-emission depletion (STED) microscopy, structured illumination microscopy (SIM), and single-molecule localization microscopy (SMLM). We first present a theoretical overview of the techniques and underlying physics, followed by a practical guide to all of the facets involved in designing a super-resolution experiment, including an approachable explanation of the photochemistry involved, labeling methods available, and sample preparation procedures. Finally, we highlight some of the most exciting recent applications of and developments in these techniques, and discuss the outlook for this field. Graphical Abstract Super-resolution microscopy techniques. Working principles of the common approaches stimulated-emission depletion (STED) microscopy, structured illumination microscopy (SIM), and single-molecule localization microscopy (SMLM). PMID:27613013

  15. Watching Individual Proteins Acting on Single Molecules of DNA

    PubMed Central

    Amitani, Ichiro; Liu, Bian; Dombrowski, Christopher C.; Baskin, Ronald J.; Kowalczykowski, Stephen C.

    2011-01-01

    In traditional biochemical experiments, the behavior of individual proteins is obscured by ensemble averaging. To better understand the behavior of proteins that bind to and/or translocate on DNA, we have developed instrumentation that uses optical trapping, microfluidic solution delivery, and fluorescent microscopy to visualize either individual proteins or assemblies of proteins acting on single molecules of DNA. The general experimental design involves attaching a single DNA molecule to a polystyrene microsphere that is then used as a microscopic handle to manipulate individual DNA molecules with a laser trap. Visualization is achieved by fluorescently labeling either the DNA or the protein of interest, followed by direct imaging using high-sensitivity fluorescence microscopy. We describe the sample preparation and instrumentation used to visualize the interaction of individual proteins with single molecules of DNA. As examples, we describe the application of these methods to the study of proteins involved in recombination-mediated DNA repair, a process essential for the maintenance of genomic integrity. PMID:20580968

  16. Studying the Nucleated Mammalian Cell Membrane by Single Molecule Approaches

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Feng; Wu, Jiazhen; Gao, Jing; Liu, Shuheng; Jiang, Junguang; Jiang, Shibo; Wang, Hongda

    2014-01-01

    The cell membrane plays a key role in compartmentalization, nutrient transportation and signal transduction, while the pattern of protein distribution at both cytoplasmic and ectoplasmic sides of the cell membrane remains elusive. Using a combination of single-molecule techniques, including atomic force microscopy (AFM), single molecule force spectroscopy (SMFS) and stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (STORM), to study the structure of nucleated cell membranes, we found that (1) proteins at the ectoplasmic side of the cell membrane form a dense protein layer (4 nm) on top of a lipid bilayer; (2) proteins aggregate to form islands evenly dispersed at the cytoplasmic side of the cell membrane with a height of about 10–12 nm; (3) cholesterol-enriched domains exist within the cell membrane; (4) carbohydrates stay in microdomains at the ectoplasmic side; and (5) exposed amino groups are asymmetrically distributed on both sides. Based on these observations, we proposed a Protein Layer-Lipid-Protein Island (PLLPI) model, to provide a better understanding of cell membrane structure, membrane trafficking and viral fusion mechanisms. PMID:24806512

  17. New assay for multiple single molecule enzyme kinetics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Alan I.; Brody, James P.

    2005-03-01

    A population of identical proteins has the same amino acid sequence, but there may be subtle differences in local folding that lead to variations in activity. Single molecule studies allow us to understand these subtle differences. Single molecule experiments are usually time consuming and difficult because only a few molecules are observed in one experiment. To address this problem, we have developed an assay where we can simultaneously measure the activity of multiple individual molecules of a protease, α-chymotrypsin. The assay utilizes a synthetic chymotrypsin substrate that is non-fluorescent before cleavage by chymotrypsin, but is intensely fluorescent after. To study the activity of individual enzymes, the enzyme and substrate are encapsulated in micron-sized droplets of water surrounded by silicone oil. On average, each micro-droplet contains less than one enzyme. The fluorescence of these droplets is recorded over time using a microscope and a CCD camera system. Software tracks individual droplets over time and records fluorescence. The kinetics of individual chymotrypsin molecules is calculated through the increase of fluorescence intensity of the same individual droplet over time. The activity profiles of the individual enzymes and the bulk sample of the enzyme are very similar. This validates the assay and demonstrates that the average of a few individual molecules can be representative of the behavior of the bulk population.

  18. DCDHF Fluorophores for Single-Molecule Imaging in Cells**

    PubMed Central

    Lord, Samuel J.; Conley, Nicholas R.; Lee, Hsiao-lu D.; Nishimura, Stefanie Y.; Pomerantz, Andrea K.; Willets, Katherine A.; Lu, Zhikuan; Wang, Hui; Liu, Na; Samuel, Reichel; Weber, Ryan; Semyonov, Alexander; He, Meng; Twieg, Robert J.; Moerner, W. E.

    2009-01-01

    There is a persistent need for small-molecule fluorescent labels optimized for single-molecule imaging in the cellular environment. Application of these labels comes with a set of strict requirements: strong absorption, efficient and stable emission, water solubility and membrane permeability, low background emission, and red-shifted absorption to avoid cell autofluorescence. We have designed and characterized several fluorophores, termed “DCDHF” fluorophores, for use in live-cell imaging based on the push–pull design: an amine donor group and a 2-dicyanomethylene-3-cyano-2,5-dihydrofuran (DCDHF) acceptor group, separated by a π-rich conjugated network. In general, the DCDHF fluorophores are comparatively photostable, sensitive to local environment, and their chemistries and photophysics are tunable to optimize absorption wavelength, membrane affinity, and solubility. Especially valuable are fluorophores with sophisticated photophysics for applications requiring additional facets of control, such as photoactivation. For example, we have reengineered a red-emitting DCDHF fluorophore so that it is dark until photoactivated with a short burst of low-intensity violet light. This molecule and its relatives provide a new class of bright photoactivatable small-molecule fluorophores, which are needed for super-resolution imaging schemes that require active control (here turning-on) of single-molecule emission. PMID:19025732

  19. DCDHF fluorophores for single-molecule imaging in cells.

    PubMed

    Lord, Samuel J; Conley, Nicholas R; Lee, Hsiao-Lu D; Nishimura, Stefanie Y; Pomerantz, Andrea K; Willets, Katherine A; Lu, Zhikuan; Wang, Hui; Liu, Na; Samuel, Reichel; Weber, Ryan; Semyonov, Alexander; He, Meng; Twieg, Robert J; Moerner, W E

    2009-01-12

    There is a persistent need for small-molecule fluorescent labels optimized for single-molecule imaging in the cellular environment. Application of these labels comes with a set of strict requirements: strong absorption, efficient and stable emission, water solubility and membrane permeability, low background emission, and red-shifted absorption to avoid cell autofluorescence. We have designed and characterized several fluorophores, termed "DCDHF" fluorophores, for use in live-cell imaging based on the push-pull design: an amine donor group and a 2-dicyanomethylene-3-cyano-2,5-dihydrofuran (DCDHF) acceptor group, separated by a pi-rich conjugated network. In general, the DCDHF fluorophores are comparatively photostable, sensitive to local environment, and their chemistries and photophysics are tunable to optimize absorption wavelength, membrane affinity, and solubility. Especially valuable are fluorophores with sophisticated photophysics for applications requiring additional facets of control, such as photoactivation. For example, we have reengineered a red-emitting DCDHF fluorophore so that it is dark until photoactivated with a short burst of low-intensity violet light. This molecule and its relatives provide a new class of bright photoactivatable small-molecule fluorophores, which are needed for super-resolution imaging schemes that require active control (here turning-on) of single-molecule emission.

  20. High contrast single molecule tracking in the pericellular coat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scrimgeour, Jan; McLane, Louis T.; Curtis, Jennifer E.

    2014-03-01

    The pericellular coat is a robust, hydrated, polymer brush-like structure that can extend several micrometers into the extracellular space around living cells. By controlling access to the cell surface, acting as a filter and storage reservoir for proteins, and actively controlling tissue-immune system interactions, the cell coat performs many important functions at scales ranging from the single cell to whole tissues. The cell coat consists of a malleable backbone - the large polysaccharide hyaluronic acid (HA) - with its structure, material properties, and ultimately its bio-functionality tuned by a diverse set of HA binding proteins. These proteins add charge, cross-links and growth factor-like ligands to the coat To probe the dynamic behavior of this soft biomaterial we have used high contrast single molecule imaging, based on highly inclined laser illumination, to observe individual fluorescently labeled HA binding proteins within the cell coat. Our work focuses on the cell coat of living chondrocyte (cartilage) cells, and in particular the effect of the large, highly charged, protein aggrecan on the properties of the coat. Through single molecule imaging we observe that aggrecan is tightly tethered to HA, and plays an important role in cell coat extension and stiffening.

  1. Ultra-Stable Organic Fluorophores for Single-Molecule Research

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Qinsi; Juette, Manuel F.; Jockusch, Steffen; Wasserman, Michael R.; Zhou, Zhou; Altman, Roger B.; Blanchard, Scott C.

    2013-01-01

    Fluorescence provides a mechanism for achieving contrast in biological imaging that enables investigations of molecular structure, dynamics, and function at high spatial and temporal resolution. Small-molecule organic fluorophores have proven essential for such efforts and are widely used in advanced applications such as single-molecule and super-resolution microscopy. Yet, organic fluorophores, like all fluorescent species, exhibit instabilities in their emission characteristics, including blinking and photobleaching that limit their utility and performance. Here, we review the photophysics and photochemistry of organic fluorophores as they pertain to mitigating such instabilities, with a specific focus on the development of stabilized fluorophores through derivatization. Self-healing organic fluorophores, wherein the triplet state is intramolecularly quenched by a covalently attached protective agent, exhibit markedly improved photostabilities. We discuss the potential for further enhancements towards the goal of developing “ultra-stable” fluorophores spanning the visible spectrum and how such fluorophores are likely to impact the future of single-molecule research. PMID:24177677

  2. Single-molecule correlated chemical probing of RNA.

    PubMed

    Homan, Philip J; Favorov, Oleg V; Lavender, Christopher A; Kursun, Olcay; Ge, Xiyuan; Busan, Steven; Dokholyan, Nikolay V; Weeks, Kevin M

    2014-09-23

    Complex higher-order RNA structures play critical roles in all facets of gene expression; however, the through-space interaction networks that define tertiary structures and govern sampling of multiple conformations are poorly understood. Here we describe single-molecule RNA structure analysis in which multiple sites of chemical modification are identified in single RNA strands by massively parallel sequencing and then analyzed for correlated and clustered interactions. The strategy thus identifies RNA interaction groups by mutational profiling (RING-MaP) and makes possible two expansive applications. First, we identify through-space interactions, create 3D models for RNAs spanning 80-265 nucleotides, and characterize broad classes of intramolecular interactions that stabilize RNA. Second, we distinguish distinct conformations in solution ensembles and reveal previously undetected hidden states and large-scale structural reconfigurations that occur in unfolded RNAs relative to native states. RING-MaP single-molecule nucleic acid structure interrogation enables concise and facile analysis of the global architectures and multiple conformations that govern function in RNA. PMID:25205807

  3. Probing the conductance superposition law in single-molecule circuits with parallel paths.

    PubMed

    Vazquez, H; Skouta, R; Schneebeli, S; Kamenetska, M; Breslow, R; Venkataraman, L; Hybertsen, M S

    2012-10-01

    According to Kirchhoff's circuit laws, the net conductance of two parallel components in an electronic circuit is the sum of the individual conductances. However, when the circuit dimensions are comparable to the electronic phase coherence length, quantum interference effects play a critical role, as exemplified by the Aharonov-Bohm effect in metal rings. At the molecular scale, interference effects dramatically reduce the electron transfer rate through a meta-connected benzene ring when compared with a para-connected benzene ring. For longer conjugated and cross-conjugated molecules, destructive interference effects have been observed in the tunnelling conductance through molecular junctions. Here, we investigate the conductance superposition law for parallel components in single-molecule circuits, particularly the role of interference. We synthesize a series of molecular systems that contain either one backbone or two backbones in parallel, bonded together cofacially by a common linker on each end. Single-molecule conductance measurements and transport calculations based on density functional theory show that the conductance of a double-backbone molecular junction can be more than twice that of a single-backbone junction, providing clear evidence for constructive interference.

  4. Effect of ligand substitution on the exchange interactions in {Mn(12)}-type single-molecule magnets.

    PubMed

    Boukhvalov, Danil W; Dobrovitski, Viatcheslav V; Kögerler, Paul; Al-Saqer, Mohammad; Katsnelson, Mikhail I; Lichtenstein, Alexander I; Harmon, Bruce N

    2010-12-01

    We investigate how ligand substitution affects the intramolecular spin exchange interactions, studying a prototypical family of single-molecule magnets comprising dodecanuclear cluster molecules [Mn(III)(8)Mn(IV)(4)O(12)(COOR)(16)]. We identify a simple scheme based on accumulated Pauling electronegativity numbers (AEN) of the carboxylate ligand groups (R). The redistribution of the electron density, controlled by the AEN of a ligand, changes the degree of hybridization between 3d electrons of manganese and 2p electrons of oxygen atoms, thus changing the exchange interactions. This scheme, despite its conceptual simplicity, provides a strong correlation with the exchange energies associated with carboxylate bridges and is confirmed by the electronic structure calculations taking into account the Coulomb correlations in magnetic molecules.

  5. Interfacial electron transfer of P3HT/PDI/ZnO nanocomposite and its application in visible-light detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Lina; Lin, Hongtao; Wu, Yishi; Zhuo, Shuping

    2016-09-01

    Photoinduced interfacial electron transfer plays a key role in photoactive organic/inorganic hybrid nanomaterials and remains elusive with regard to interfacial energy level alignment. In this study, n-type organic semiconductor 1,6,7,12-tetrachloro-3,4,9,10-Perylenetetracarboxylicdiimide (PDI) molecules bearing carboxylic acid groups at nitrogen positions were grafted onto the surface of the Zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles, and then blended with p-type poly (3-hexylthiophene) P3HT. The addition of PDI facilitates the charge transfer process from P3HT to ZnO, which was characterized by steady-state spectroscopy and time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy. High performance visible-light detector based on P3HT/PDI/ZnO has been fabricated. This provides guidelines for the construction of optoelectronic devices.

  6. Computational micromechanics analysis of electron hopping and interfacial damage induced piezoresistive response in carbon nanotube-polymer nanocomposites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chaurasia, A. K.; Ren, X.; Seidel, G. D.

    2014-07-01

    Carbon nanotube (CNT)-polymer nanocomposites have been observed to exhibit an effective macroscale piezoresistive response, i.e., change in macroscale resistivity when subjected to applied deformation. The macroscale piezoresistive response of CNT-polymer nanocomposites leads to deformation/strain sensing capabilities. It is believed that the nanoscale phenomenon of electron hopping is the major driving force behind the observed macroscale piezoresistivity of such nanocomposites. Additionally, CNT-polymer nanocomposites provide damage sensing capabilities because of local changes in electron hopping pathways at the nanoscale because of initiation/evolution of damage. The primary focus of the current work is to explore the effect of interfacial separation and damage at the nanoscale CNT-polymer interface on the effective macroscale piezoresistive response. Interfacial separation and damage are allowed to evolve at the CNT-polymer interface through coupled electromechanical cohesive zones, within a finite element based computational micromechanics framework, resulting in electron hopping based current density across the separated CNT-polymer interface. The macroscale effective material properties and gauge factors are evaluated using micromechanics techniques based on electrostatic energy equivalence. The impact of the electron hopping mechanism, nanoscale interface separation and damage evolution on the effective nanocomposite electrostatic and piezoresistive response is studied in comparison with the perfectly bonded interface. The effective electrostatic/piezoresistive response for the perfectly bonded interface is obtained based on a computational micromechanics model developed in the authors’ earlier work. It is observed that the macroscale effective gauge factors are highly sensitive to strain induced formation/disruption of electron hopping pathways, interface separation and the initiation/evolution of interfacial damage.

  7. Linear trinuclear cobalt(II) single molecule magnet.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yuan-Zhu; Brown, Andrew J; Meng, Yin-Shan; Sun, Hao-Ling; Gao, Song

    2015-02-14

    The introduction of NaBPh(4) into a methanolic solution of CoCl(2)·(6)H(2)O and 2-[(pyridine-2-ylimine)-methyl]phenol (Hpymp) afforded {[Co(II)(3)(pymp)(4)(MeOH)(2)][BPh(4)](2)}·(2)MeOH (1) with a centro-symmetrically linear trinuclear structure. Magnetic analysis of 1 exhibited significant intracluster ferromagnetic exchange (2.4 cm(-1)) and slow relaxation of magnetization in both zero and non-zero static fields below 5 K, giving the first [Co(II)(3)] single molecule magnet with an effective energy barrier of 17.2(3) cm(-1) under a 500 Oe dc field.

  8. Force-induced tautomerization in a single molecule.

    PubMed

    Ladenthin, Janina N; Frederiksen, Thomas; Persson, Mats; Sharp, John C; Gawinkowski, Sylwester; Waluk, Jacek; Kumagai, Takashi

    2016-10-01

    Heat transfer, electrical potential and light energy are common ways to activate chemical reactions. Applied force is another way, but dedicated studies for such a mechanical activation are limited, and this activation is poorly understood at the single-molecule level. Here, we report force-induced tautomerization in a single porphycene molecule on a Cu(110) surface at 5 K, which is studied by scanning probe microscopy and density functional theory calculations. Force spectroscopy quantifies the force needed to trigger tautomerization with submolecular spatial resolution. The calculations show how the reaction pathway and barrier of tautomerization are modified in the presence of a copper tip and reveal the atomistic origin of the process. Moreover, we demonstrate that a chemically inert tip whose apex is terminated by a xenon atom cannot induce the reaction because of a weak interaction with porphycene and a strong relaxation of xenon on the tip as contact to the molecule is formed.

  9. Force-induced tautomerization in a single molecule.

    PubMed

    Ladenthin, Janina N; Frederiksen, Thomas; Persson, Mats; Sharp, John C; Gawinkowski, Sylwester; Waluk, Jacek; Kumagai, Takashi

    2016-10-01

    Heat transfer, electrical potential and light energy are common ways to activate chemical reactions. Applied force is another way, but dedicated studies for such a mechanical activation are limited, and this activation is poorly understood at the single-molecule level. Here, we report force-induced tautomerization in a single porphycene molecule on a Cu(110) surface at 5 K, which is studied by scanning probe microscopy and density functional theory calculations. Force spectroscopy quantifies the force needed to trigger tautomerization with submolecular spatial resolution. The calculations show how the reaction pathway and barrier of tautomerization are modified in the presence of a copper tip and reveal the atomistic origin of the process. Moreover, we demonstrate that a chemically inert tip whose apex is terminated by a xenon atom cannot induce the reaction because of a weak interaction with porphycene and a strong relaxation of xenon on the tip as contact to the molecule is formed. PMID:27657869

  10. Automatic Bayesian single molecule identification for localization microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Yunqing; Hendriks, Johnny; Gensch, Thomas; Dai, Luru; Li, Junbai

    2016-01-01

    Single molecule localization microscopy (SMLM) is on its way to become a mainstream imaging technique in the life sciences. However, analysis of SMLM data is biased by user provided subjective parameters required by the analysis software. To remove this human bias we introduce here the Auto-Bayes method that executes the analysis of SMLM data automatically. We demonstrate the success of the method using the photoelectron count of an emitter as selection characteristic. Moreover, the principle can be used for any characteristic that is bimodally distributed with respect to false and true emitters. The method also allows generation of an emitter reliability map for estimating quality of SMLM-based structures. The potential of the Auto-Bayes method is shown by the fact that our first basic implementation was able to outperform all software packages that were compared in the ISBI online challenge in 2015, with respect to molecule detection (Jaccard index). PMID:27641933

  11. Kinesin regulation dynamics through cargo delivery, a single molecule investigation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kovacs, Anthony; Kessler, Jonathan; Lin, Huawen; Dutcher, Susan; Wang, Yan Mei

    2015-03-01

    Kinesins are microtubule-based motors that deliver cargo to their destinations in a highly regulated manner. Although in recent years numerous regulators of cargo delivery have been identified, the regulation mechanism of kinesin through the cargo delivery and recycling process is not known. By performing single molecule fluorescence imaging measurements in Chlamydomonas flagella, which are 200 nm in diameter, 10 microns in length, and contain 9 sets of microtubule doublets, we tracked the intraflagellar transport (IFT) trains, BBSome cargo, and kinesin-2 motors through the cargo delivery process and determined the aforementioned dynamics. Upon arrival at the microtubule plus end at the flagellar tip, (1) IFT trains and BBSome cargo remain intact, dissociate together from kinesins and microtubules, and diffuse along flagellar membrane for a mean of 2.3 sec before commencing retrograde travel. (2) Kinesin motors remain bound to and diffuse along microtubules for 1.3 sec before dissociating into the flagellar lumen for recycling.

  12. Reconstructing Folding Energy Landscapes by Single-Molecule Force Spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Woodside, Michael T.; Block, Steven M.

    2015-01-01

    Folding may be described conceptually in terms of trajectories over a landscape of free energies corresponding to different molecular configurations. In practice, energy landscapes can be difficult to measure. Single-molecule force spectroscopy (SMFS), whereby structural changes are monitored in molecules subjected to controlled forces, has emerged as a powerful tool for probing energy landscapes. We summarize methods for reconstructing landscapes from force spectroscopy measurements under both equilibrium and nonequilibrium conditions. Other complementary, but technically less demanding, methods provide a model-dependent characterization of key features of the landscape. Once reconstructed, energy landscapes can be used to study critical folding parameters, such as the characteristic transition times required for structural changes and the effective diffusion coefficient setting the timescale for motions over the landscape. We also discuss issues that complicate measurement and interpretation, including the possibility of multiple states or pathways and the effects of projecting multiple dimensions onto a single coordinate. PMID:24895850

  13. New Insights into the Spliceosome by Single Molecule Fluorescence Microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Hoskins, Aaron A.; Gelles, Jeff; Moore, Melissa J.

    2011-01-01

    Splicing is an essential eukaryotic process in which introns are excised from precursors to messenger RNAs and exons ligated together. This reaction is catalyzed by a multi-MegaDalton machine called the spliceosome, composed of 5 small nuclear RNAs (snRNAs) and a core set of ~100 proteins minimally required for activity. Due to the spliceosome’s size, its low abundance in cellular extracts, and its highly dynamic assembly pathway, analysis of the kinetics of splicing and the conformational rearrangements occurring during spliceosome assembly and disassembly has proven extraordinarily challenging. Here, we review recent progress in combining chemical biology methodologies with single molecule fluorescence techniques to provide a window into splicing in real time. These methods complement ensemble measurements of splicing in vivo and in vitro to facilitate kinetic dissection of pre-mRNA splicing. PMID:22057211

  14. Automatic Bayesian single molecule identification for localization microscopy.

    PubMed

    Tang, Yunqing; Hendriks, Johnny; Gensch, Thomas; Dai, Luru; Li, Junbai

    2016-01-01

    Single molecule localization microscopy (SMLM) is on its way to become a mainstream imaging technique in the life sciences. However, analysis of SMLM data is biased by user provided subjective parameters required by the analysis software. To remove this human bias we introduce here the Auto-Bayes method that executes the analysis of SMLM data automatically. We demonstrate the success of the method using the photoelectron count of an emitter as selection characteristic. Moreover, the principle can be used for any characteristic that is bimodally distributed with respect to false and true emitters. The method also allows generation of an emitter reliability map for estimating quality of SMLM-based structures. The potential of the Auto-Bayes method is shown by the fact that our first basic implementation was able to outperform all software packages that were compared in the ISBI online challenge in 2015, with respect to molecule detection (Jaccard index). PMID:27641933

  15. The Single-Molecule Approach to Membrane Protein Stoichiometry.

    PubMed

    Nichols, Michael G; Hallworth, Richard

    2016-01-01

    The advent of techniques for imaging solitary fluorescent molecules has made possible many new kinds of biological experiments. Here, we describe the application of single-molecule imaging to the problem of subunit stoichiometry in membrane proteins. A membrane protein of unknown stoichiometry, prestin, is coupled to the fluorescent enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) and synthesized in the human embryonic kidney (HEK) cell line. We prepare adherent membrane fragments containing prestin-eGFP by osmotic lysis. The molecules are then exposed to continuous low-level excitation until their fluorescence reaches background levels. Their fluorescence decreases in discrete equal-amplitude steps, consistent with the photobleaching of single fluorophores. We count the number of steps required to photobleach each molecule. The molecular stoichiometry is then deduced using a binomial model.

  16. Single-molecule paleoenzymology probes the chemistry of resurrected enzymes

    PubMed Central

    Perez-Jimenez, Raul; Inglés-Prieto, Alvaro; Zhao, Zi-Ming; Sanchez-Romero, Inmaculada; Alegre-Cebollada, Jorge; Kosuri, Pallav; Garcia-Manyes, Sergi; Kappock, T. Joseph; Tanokura, Masaru; Holmgren, Arne; Sanchez-Ruiz, Jose M.; Gaucher, Eric A.; Fernandez, Julio M.

    2011-01-01

    A journey back in time is possible at the molecular level by reconstructing proteins from extinct organisms. Here we report the reconstruction, based on sequence predicted by phylogenetic analysis, of seven Precambrian thioredoxin enzymes (Trx), dating back between ~1.4 and ~4 billion years (Gyr). The reconstructed enzymes are up to 32° C more stable than modern enzymes and the oldest show significantly higher activity than extant ones at pH 5. We probed their mechanisms of reduction using single-molecule force spectroscopy. From the force-dependency of the rate of reduction of an engineered substrate, we conclude that ancient Trxs utilize chemical mechanisms of reduction similar to those of modern enzymes. While Trx enzymes have maintained their reductase chemistry unchanged, they have adapted over a 4 Gyr time span to the changes in temperature and ocean acidity that characterize the evolution of the global environment from ancient to modern Earth. PMID:21460845

  17. A molecular tuning fork in single-molecule mechanochemical sensing.

    PubMed

    Mandal, Shankar; Koirala, Deepak; Selvam, Sangeetha; Ghimire, Chiran; Mao, Hanbin

    2015-06-22

    The separate arrangement of target recognition and signal transduction in conventional biosensors often compromises the real-time response and can introduce additional noise. To address these issues, we combined analyte recognition and signal reporting by mechanochemical coupling in a single-molecule DNA template. We incorporated a DNA hairpin as a mechanophore in the template, which, under a specific force, undergoes stochastic transitions between folded and unfolded hairpin structures (mechanoescence). Reminiscent of a tuning fork that vibrates at a fixed frequency, the device was classified as a molecular tuning fork (MTF). By monitoring the lifetime of the folded and unfolded hairpins with equal populations, we were able to differentiate between the mono- and bivalent binding modes during individual antibody-antigen binding events. We anticipate these mechanospectroscopic concepts and methods will be instrumental for the development of novel bioanalyses.

  18. Subnanometre enzyme mechanics probed by single-molecule force spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Pelz, Benjamin; Žoldák, Gabriel; Zeller, Fabian; Zacharias, Martin; Rief, Matthias

    2016-01-01

    Enzymes are molecular machines that bind substrates specifically, provide an adequate chemical environment for catalysis and exchange products rapidly, to ensure fast turnover rates. Direct information about the energetics that drive conformational changes is difficult to obtain. We used subnanometre single-molecule force spectroscopy to study the energetic drive of substrate-dependent lid closing in the enzyme adenylate kinase. Here we show that in the presence of the bisubstrate inhibitor diadenosine pentaphosphate (AP5A), closing and opening of both lids is cooperative and tightly coupled to inhibitor binding. Surprisingly, binding of the substrates ADP and ATP exhibits a much smaller energetic drive towards the fully closed state. Instead, we observe a new dominant energetic minimum with both lids half closed. Our results, combining experiment and molecular dynamics simulations, give detailed mechanical insights into how an enzyme can cope with the seemingly contradictory requirements of rapid substrate exchange and tight closing, to ensure efficient catalysis. PMID:26906294

  19. Eukaryotic transcriptional dynamics: from single molecules to cell populations

    PubMed Central

    Coulon, Antoine; Chow, Carson C.; Singer, Robert H.; Larson, Daniel R.

    2013-01-01

    Transcriptional regulation is achieved through combinatorial interactions between regulatory elements in the human genome and a vast range of factors that modulate the recruitment and activity of RNA polymerase. Experimental approaches for studying transcription in vivo now extend from single-molecule techniques to genome-wide measurements. Parallel to these developments is the need for testable quantitative and predictive models for understanding gene regulation. These conceptual models must also provide insight into the dynamics of transcription and the variability that is observed at the single-cell level. In this Review, we discuss recent results on transcriptional regulation and also the models those results engender. We show how a non-equilibrium description informs our view of transcription by explicitly considering time-and energy-dependence at the molecular level. PMID:23835438

  20. Single molecule thermodynamics of ATP synthesis by F1-ATPase

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toyabe, Shoichi; Muneyuki, Eiro

    2015-01-01

    FoF1-ATP synthase is a factory for synthesizing ATP in virtually all cells. Its core machinery is the subcomplex F1-motor (F1-ATPase) and performs the reversible mechanochemical coupling. The isolated F1-motor hydrolyzes ATP, which is accompanied by unidirectional rotation of its central γ -shaft. When a strong opposing torque is imposed, the γ -shaft rotates in the opposite direction and drives the F1-motor to synthesize ATP. This mechanical-to-chemical free-energy transduction is the final and central step of the multistep cellular ATP-synthetic pathway. Here, we determined the amount of mechanical work exploited by the F1-motor to synthesize an ATP molecule during forced rotations using a methodology combining a nonequilibrium theory and single molecule measurements of responses to external torque. We found that the internal dissipation of the motor is negligible even during rotations far from a quasistatic process.

  1. Subnanometre enzyme mechanics probed by single-molecule force spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pelz, Benjamin; Žoldák, Gabriel; Zeller, Fabian; Zacharias, Martin; Rief, Matthias

    2016-02-01

    Enzymes are molecular machines that bind substrates specifically, provide an adequate chemical environment for catalysis and exchange products rapidly, to ensure fast turnover rates. Direct information about the energetics that drive conformational changes is difficult to obtain. We used subnanometre single-molecule force spectroscopy to study the energetic drive of substrate-dependent lid closing in the enzyme adenylate kinase. Here we show that in the presence of the bisubstrate inhibitor diadenosine pentaphosphate (AP5A), closing and opening of both lids is cooperative and tightly coupled to inhibitor binding. Surprisingly, binding of the substrates ADP and ATP exhibits a much smaller energetic drive towards the fully closed state. Instead, we observe a new dominant energetic minimum with both lids half closed. Our results, combining experiment and molecular dynamics simulations, give detailed mechanical insights into how an enzyme can cope with the seemingly contradictory requirements of rapid substrate exchange and tight closing, to ensure efficient catalysis.

  2. X-ray induced demagnetization of single-molecule magnets

    SciTech Connect

    Dreiser, Jan; Westerström, Rasmus; Piamonteze, Cinthia; Nolting, Frithjof; Rusponi, Stefano; Brune, Harald; Yang, Shangfeng; Popov, Alexey; Dunsch, Lothar; Greber, Thomas

    2014-07-21

    Low-temperature x-ray magnetic circular dichroism measurements on the endohedral single-molecule magnet DySc{sub 2}N@C{sub 80} at the Dy M{sub 4,5} edges reveal a shrinking of the opening of the observed hysteresis with increasing x-ray flux. Time-dependent measurements show that the exposure of the molecules to x-rays resonant with the Dy M{sub 5} edge accelerates the relaxation of magnetization more than off-resonant x-rays. The results cannot be explained by a homogeneous temperature rise due to x-ray absorption. Moreover, the observed large demagnetization cross sections indicate that the resonant absorption of one x-ray photon induces the demagnetization of many molecules.

  3. Single-molecule protein sequencing through fingerprinting: computational assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yao, Yao; Docter, Margreet; van Ginkel, Jetty; de Ridder, Dick; Joo, Chirlmin

    2015-10-01

    Proteins are vital in all biological systems as they constitute the main structural and functional components of cells. Recent advances in mass spectrometry have brought the promise of complete proteomics by helping draft the human proteome. Yet, this commonly used protein sequencing technique has fundamental limitations in sensitivity. Here we propose a method for single-molecule (SM) protein sequencing. A major challenge lies in the fact that proteins are composed of 20 different amino acids, which demands 20 molecular reporters. We computationally demonstrate that it suffices to measure only two types of amino acids to identify proteins and suggest an experimental scheme using SM fluorescence. When achieved, this highly sensitive approach will result in a paradigm shift in proteomics, with major impact in the biological and medical sciences.

  4. Enhancing Single Molecule Imaging in Optofluidics and Microfluidics

    PubMed Central

    Vasdekis, Andreas E.; Laporte, Gregoire P.J.

    2011-01-01

    Microfluidics and optofluidics have revolutionized high-throughput analysis and chemical synthesis over the past decade. Single molecule imaging has witnessed similar growth, due to its capacity to reveal heterogeneities at high spatial and temporal resolutions. However, both resolution types are dependent on the signal to noise ratio (SNR) of the image. In this paper, we review how the SNR can be enhanced in optofluidics and microfluidics. Starting with optofluidics, we outline integrated photonic structures that increase the signal emitted by single chromophores and minimize the excitation volume. Turning then to microfluidics, we review the compatible functionalization strategies that reduce noise stemming from non-specific interactions and architectures that minimize bleaching and blinking. PMID:21954349

  5. Three dimensional single molecule localization using a phase retrieved pupilfunction

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Sheng; Kromann, Emil B.; Krueger, Wesley D.; Bewersdorf, Joerg; Lidke, Keith A.

    2013-01-01

    Localization-based superresolution imaging is dependent on finding the positions of individualfluorophores in a sample by fitting the observed single-molecule intensity pattern to the microscopepoint spread function (PSF). For three-dimensional imaging, system-specific aberrations of theoptical system can lead to inaccurate localizations when the PSF model does not account for theseaberrations. Here we describe the use of phase-retrieved pupil functions to generate a more accuratePSF and therefore more accurate 3D localizations. The complex-valued pupil function containsinformation about the system-specific aberrations and can thus be used to generate the PSF forarbitrary defocus. Further, it can be modified to include depth dependent aberrations. We describethe phase retrieval process, the method for including depth dependent aberrations, and a fastfitting algorithm using graphics processing units. The superior localization accuracy of the pupilfunction generated PSF is demonstrated with dual focal plane 3D superresolution imaging ofbiological structures. PMID:24514501

  6. Force-induced tautomerization in a single molecule

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ladenthin, Janina N.; Frederiksen, Thomas; Persson, Mats; Sharp, John C.; Gawinkowski, Sylwester; Waluk, Jacek; Kumagai, Takashi

    2016-10-01

    Heat transfer, electrical potential and light energy are common ways to activate chemical reactions. Applied force is another way, but dedicated studies for such a mechanical activation are limited, and this activation is poorly understood at the single-molecule level. Here, we report force-induced tautomerization in a single porphycene molecule on a Cu(110) surface at 5 K, which is studied by scanning probe microscopy and density functional theory calculations. Force spectroscopy quantifies the force needed to trigger tautomerization with submolecular spatial resolution. The calculations show how the reaction pathway and barrier of tautomerization are modified in the presence of a copper tip and reveal the atomistic origin of the process. Moreover, we demonstrate that a chemically inert tip whose apex is terminated by a xenon atom cannot induce the reaction because of a weak interaction with porphycene and a strong relaxation of xenon on the tip as contact to the molecule is formed.

  7. Robust Magnetic Properties of a Sublimable Single-Molecule Magnet.

    PubMed

    Kiefl, Evan; Mannini, Matteo; Bernot, Kevin; Yi, Xiaohui; Amato, Alex; Leviant, Tom; Magnani, Agnese; Prokscha, Thomas; Suter, Andreas; Sessoli, Roberta; Salman, Zaher

    2016-06-28

    The organization of single-molecule magnets (SMMs) on surfaces via thermal sublimation is a prerequisite for the development of future devices for spintronics exploiting the richness of properties offered by these magnetic molecules. However, a change in the SMM properties due to the interaction with specific surfaces is usually observed. Here we present a rare example of an SMM system that can be thermally sublimated on gold surfaces while maintaining its intact chemical structure and magnetic properties. Muon spin relaxation and ac susceptibility measurements are used to demonstrate that, unlike other SMMs, the magnetic properties of this system in thin films are very similar to those in the bulk, throughout the full volume of the film, including regions near the metal and vacuum interfaces. These results exhibit the robustness of chemical and magnetic properties of this complex and provide important clues for the development of nanostructures based on SMMs. PMID:27139335

  8. Enhancing single molecule imaging in optofluidics and microfluidics.

    PubMed

    Vasdekis, Andreas E; Laporte, Gregoire P J

    2011-01-01

    Microfluidics and optofluidics have revolutionized high-throughput analysis and chemical synthesis over the past decade. Single molecule imaging has witnessed similar growth, due to its capacity to reveal heterogeneities at high spatial and temporal resolutions. However, both resolution types are dependent on the signal to noise ratio (SNR) of the image. In this paper, we review how the SNR can be enhanced in optofluidics and microfluidics. Starting with optofluidics, we outline integrated photonic structures that increase the signal emitted by single chromophores and minimize the excitation volume. Turning then to microfluidics, we review the compatible functionalization strategies that reduce noise stemming from non-specific interactions and architectures that minimize bleaching and blinking.

  9. Mechanisms of Cellular Proteostasis: Insights from Single-Molecule Approaches

    PubMed Central

    Bustamante, Carlos J.; Kaiser, Christian M.; Maillard, Rodrigo A.; Goldman, Daniel H.; Wilson, Christian A.M.

    2015-01-01

    Cells employ a variety of strategies to maintain proteome homeostasis. Beginning during protein biogenesis, the translation machinery and a number of molecular chaperones promote correct de novo folding of nascent proteins even before synthesis is complete. Another set of molecular chaperones helps to maintain proteins in their functional, native state. Polypeptides that are no longer needed or pose a threat to the cell, such as misfolded proteins and aggregates, are removed in an efficient and timely fashion by ATP-dependent proteases. In this review, we describe how applications of single-molecule manipulation methods, in particular optical tweezers, are shedding new light on the molecular mechanisms of quality control during the life cycles of proteins. PMID:24895851

  10. Progress towards DNA sequencing at the single molecule level

    SciTech Connect

    Goodwin, P.M.; Affleck, R.L.; Ambrose, W.P.

    1995-12-01

    We describe progress towards sequencing DNA at the single molecule level. Our technique involves incorporation of fluorescently tagged nucleotides into a targeted sequence, anchoring the labeled DNA strand in a flowing stream, sequential exonuclease digestion of the DNA strand, and efficient detection and identification of single tagged nucleotides. Experiments demonstrating strand specific exonuclease digestion of fluorescently labeled DNA anchored in flow as well as the detection of single cleaved fluorescently tagged nucleotides from a small number of anchored DNA fragments axe described. We find that the turnover rate of Esherichia coli exonuclease III on fluorescently labeled DNA in flow at 36{degree}C is {approximately}7 nucleotides per DNA strand per second, which is approximately the same as that measured for this enzyme on native DNA under static, saturated (excess enzyme) conditions. Experiments demonstrating the efficient detection of single fluorescent molecules delivered electrokinetically to a {approximately}3 pL probe volume are also described.

  11. Subnanometre enzyme mechanics probed by single-molecule force spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Pelz, Benjamin; Žoldák, Gabriel; Zeller, Fabian; Zacharias, Martin; Rief, Matthias

    2016-02-24

    Enzymes are molecular machines that bind substrates specifically, provide an adequate chemical environment for catalysis and exchange products rapidly, to ensure fast turnover rates. Direct information about the energetics that drive conformational changes is difficult to obtain. We used subnanometre single-molecule force spectroscopy to study the energetic drive of substrate-dependent lid closing in the enzyme adenylate kinase. Here we show that in the presence of the bisubstrate inhibitor diadenosine pentaphosphate (AP5A), closing and opening of both lids is cooperative and tightly coupled to inhibitor binding. Surprisingly, binding of the substrates ADP and ATP exhibits a much smaller energetic drive towards the fully closed state. Instead, we observe a new dominant energetic minimum with both lids half closed. Our results, combining experiment and molecular dynamics simulations, give detailed mechanical insights into how an enzyme can cope with the seemingly contradictory requirements of rapid substrate exchange and tight closing, to ensure efficient catalysis.

  12. Single molecule targeted sequencing for cancer gene mutation detection.

    PubMed

    Gao, Yan; Deng, Liwei; Yan, Qin; Gao, Yongqian; Wu, Zengding; Cai, Jinsen; Ji, Daorui; Li, Gailing; Wu, Ping; Jin, Huan; Zhao, Luyang; Liu, Song; Ge, Liangjin; Deem, Michael W; He, Jiankui

    2016-01-01

    With the rapid decline in cost of sequencing, it is now affordable to examine multiple genes in a single disease-targeted clinical test using next generation sequencing. Current targeted sequencing methods require a separate step of targeted capture enrichment during sample preparation before sequencing. Although there are fast sample preparation methods available in market, the library preparation process is still relatively complicated for physicians to use routinely. Here, we introduced an amplification-free Single Molecule Targeted Sequencing (SMTS) technology, which combined targeted capture and sequencing in one step. We demonstrated that this technology can detect low-frequency mutations using artificially synthesized DNA sample. SMTS has several potential advantages, including simple sample preparation thus no biases and errors are introduced by PCR reaction. SMTS has the potential to be an easy and quick sequencing technology for clinical diagnosis such as cancer gene mutation detection, infectious disease detection, inherited condition screening and noninvasive prenatal diagnosis. PMID:27193446

  13. Reconstructing folding energy landscapes by single-molecule force spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Woodside, Michael T; Block, Steven M

    2014-01-01

    Folding may be described conceptually in terms of trajectories over a landscape of free energies corresponding to different molecular configurations. In practice, energy landscapes can be difficult to measure. Single-molecule force spectroscopy (SMFS), whereby structural changes are monitored in molecules subjected to controlled forces, has emerged as a powerful tool for probing energy landscapes. We summarize methods for reconstructing landscapes from force spectroscopy measurements under both equilibrium and nonequilibrium conditions. Other complementary, but technically less demanding, methods provide a model-dependent characterization of key features of the landscape. Once reconstructed, energy landscapes can be used to study critical folding parameters, such as the characteristic transition times required for structural changes and the effective diffusion coefficient setting the timescale for motions over the landscape. We also discuss issues that complicate measurement and interpretation, including the possibility of multiple states or pathways and the effects of projecting multiple dimensions onto a single coordinate.

  14. Single-molecule paleoenzymology probes the chemistry of resurrected enzymes.

    PubMed

    Perez-Jimenez, Raul; Inglés-Prieto, Alvaro; Zhao, Zi-Ming; Sanchez-Romero, Inmaculada; Alegre-Cebollada, Jorge; Kosuri, Pallav; Garcia-Manyes, Sergi; Kappock, T Joseph; Tanokura, Masaru; Holmgren, Arne; Sanchez-Ruiz, Jose M; Gaucher, Eric A; Fernandez, Julio M

    2011-05-01

    It is possible to travel back in time at the molecular level by reconstructing proteins from extinct organisms. Here we report the reconstruction, based on sequence predicted by phylogenetic analysis, of seven Precambrian thioredoxin enzymes (Trx) dating back between ~1.4 and ~4 billion years (Gyr). The reconstructed enzymes are up to 32 °C more stable than modern enzymes, and the oldest show markedly higher activity than extant ones at pH 5. We probed the mechanisms of reduction of these enzymes using single-molecule force spectroscopy. From the force dependency of the rate of reduction of an engineered substrate, we conclude that ancient Trxs use chemical mechanisms of reduction similar to those of modern enzymes. Although Trx enzymes have maintained their reductase chemistry unchanged, they have adapted over 4 Gyr to the changes in temperature and ocean acidity that characterize the evolution of the global environment from ancient to modern Earth. PMID:21460845

  15. Lipid mobility in supported lipid bilayers by single molecule tracking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohram, Maryam; Shi, Xiaojun; Smith, Adam

    2015-03-01

    Phospholipid bilayers are the main component of cell membranes and their interaction with biomolecules in their immediate environment is critical for cellular functions. These interactions include the binding of polycationic polymers to lipid bilayers which affects many cell membrane events. As an alternative method of studying live cell membranes, we assemble a supported lipid bilayer and investigate its binding with polycationic polymers in vitro by fluorescently labeling the molecules of the supported lipid bilayer and tracking their mobility. In this work, we use single molecule tracking total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy (TIRF) to study phosphatidylinositol phosphate (PIP) lipids with and without an adsorbed polycationic polymer, quaternized polyvinylpyridine (QPVP). Individual molecular trajectories are obtained from the experiment, and a Brownian diffusion model is used to determine diffusion coefficients through mean square displacements. Our results indicate a smaller diffusion coefficient for the supported lipid bilayers in the presence of QPVP in comparison to its absence, revealing that their binding causes a decrease in lateral mobility.

  16. Single molecule targeted sequencing for cancer gene mutation detection

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Yan; Deng, Liwei; Yan, Qin; Gao, Yongqian; Wu, Zengding; Cai, Jinsen; Ji, Daorui; Li, Gailing; Wu, Ping; Jin, Huan; Zhao, Luyang; Liu, Song; Ge, Liangjin; Deem, Michael W.; He, Jiankui

    2016-01-01

    With the rapid decline in cost of sequencing, it is now affordable to examine multiple genes in a single disease-targeted clinical test using next generation sequencing. Current targeted sequencing methods require a separate step of targeted capture enrichment during sample preparation before sequencing. Although there are fast sample preparation methods available in market, the library preparation process is still relatively complicated for physicians to use routinely. Here, we introduced an amplification-free Single Molecule Targeted Sequencing (SMTS) technology, which combined targeted capture and sequencing in one step. We demonstrated that this technology can detect low-frequency mutations using artificially synthesized DNA sample. SMTS has several potential advantages, including simple sample preparation thus no biases and errors are introduced by PCR reaction. SMTS has the potential to be an easy and quick sequencing technology for clinical diagnosis such as cancer gene mutation detection, infectious disease detection, inherited condition screening and noninvasive prenatal diagnosis. PMID:27193446

  17. Visualizing Cyclic Peptide Hydration at the Single-Molecule Level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Yumin; Deng, Ke; Qiu, Xiaohui; Wang, Chen

    2013-08-01

    The role of water molecules in the selective transport of potassium ions across cell membranes is important. Experimental investigations of valinomycin-water interactions remain huge challenge due to the poor solubility of valinomycin in water. Herein, we removed this experimental obstacle by introducing gaseous water and valinomycin onto a Cu(111) surface to investigate the hydration of valinomycin. By combining scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) with density functional theory (DFT) calculations, we revealed that water could affect the adsorption structure of valinomycin. Hydrogen bond interactions occurred primarily at the carbonyl oxygen of valinomycin and resulted in the formation of valinomycin hydrates. The single-molecule perspective revealed in our investigation could provide new insight into the role of water on the conformation transition of valinomycin, which might provide a new molecular basis for the ion transport mechanism at the water/membrane interface.

  18. Single-molecule experiments in biological physics: methods and applications.

    PubMed

    Ritort, F

    2006-08-16

    I review single-molecule experiments (SMEs) in biological physics. Recent technological developments have provided the tools to design and build scientific instruments of high enough sensitivity and precision to manipulate and visualize individual molecules and measure microscopic forces. Using SMEs it is possible to manipulate molecules one at a time and measure distributions describing molecular properties, characterize the kinetics of biomolecular reactions and detect molecular intermediates. SMEs provide additional information about thermodynamics and kinetics of biomolecular processes. This complements information obtained in traditional bulk assays. In SMEs it is also possible to measure small energies and detect large Brownian deviations in biomolecular reactions, thereby offering new methods and systems to scrutinize the basic foundations of statistical mechanics. This review is written at a very introductory level, emphasizing the importance of SMEs to scientists interested in knowing the common playground of ideas and the interdisciplinary topics accessible by these techniques. The review discusses SMEs from an experimental perspective, first exposing the most common experimental methodologies and later presenting various molecular systems where such techniques have been applied. I briefly discuss experimental techniques such as atomic-force microscopy (AFM), laser optical tweezers (LOTs), magnetic tweezers (MTs), biomembrane force probes (BFPs) and single-molecule fluorescence (SMF). I then present several applications of SME to the study of nucleic acids (DNA, RNA and DNA condensation) and proteins (protein-protein interactions, protein folding and molecular motors). Finally, I discuss applications of SMEs to the study of the nonequilibrium thermodynamics of small systems and the experimental verification of fluctuation theorems. I conclude with a discussion of open questions and future perspectives.

  19. Single molecule fluorescence burst detection of DNA fragments separated by capillary electrophoresis

    SciTech Connect

    Haab, B.B.; Mathies, R.A.

    1995-09-15

    A method has been developed for detecting DNA separated by capillary gel electrophoresis (CGE) using single molecule photon burst counting. A confocal fluorescence microscope was used to observe the fluorescence bursts from single molecules of DNA multiply labeled with the thiazole orange derivative TO6 as they passed through the nearly 2-{mu}m diameter focused laser beam. Amplified photo-electron pulses from the photomultiplier are grouped into bins of 360-450 {mu}s in duration, and the resulting histogram is stored in a computer for analysis. Solutions of M13 DNA were first flowed through the capillary at various concentrations, and the resulting data were used to optimize the parameters for digital filtering using a low-pass Fourier filter, selecting a discriminator level for peak detection, and applying a peak-calling algorithm. The optimized single molecule counting method was then applied to an electrophoretic separation of M13 DNA and to a separation of pBR 322 DNA from pRL 277 DNA. Clusters of discreet fluorescence bursts were observed at the expected appearance time of each DNA band. The auto-correlation function of these data indicated transit times that were consistent with the observed electrophoretic velocity. These separations were easily detected when only 50-100 molecules of DNA per band traveled through the detection region. This new detection technology should lead to the routine analysis of DNA in capillary columns with an on-column sensitivity of nearly 100 DNA molecules/band or better. 45 refs., 10 figs.

  20. An approach for an advanced anode interfacial layer with electron-blocking ability to achieve high-efficiency organic photovoltaics.

    PubMed

    Yeo, Jun-Seok; Yun, Jin-Mun; Kang, Minji; Khim, Dongyoon; Lee, Seung-Hoon; Kim, Seok-Soon; Na, Seok-In; Kim, Dong-Yu

    2014-11-26

    The interfacial properties of PEDOT:PSS, pristine r-GO, and r-GO with sulfonic acid (SR-GO) in organic photovoltaic are investigated to elucidate electron-blocking property of PEDOT:PSS anode interfacial layer (AIL), and to explore the possibility of r-GO as electron-blocking layers. The SR-GO results in an optimized power conversion efficiency of 7.54% for PTB7-th:PC71BM and 5.64% for P3HT:IC61BA systems. By combining analyses of capacitance-voltage and photovoltaic-parameters dependence on light intensity, it is found that recombination process at SR-GO/active film is minimized. In contrast, the devices using r-GO without sulfonic acid show trap-assisted recombination. The enhanced electron-blocking properties in PEDOT:PSS and SR-GO AILs can be attributed to surface dipoles at AIL/acceptor. Thus, for electron-blocking, the AIL/acceptor interface should be importantly considered in OPVs. Also, by simply introducing sulfonic acid unit on r-GO, excellent contact selectivity can be realized in OPVs.

  1. Single molecule switches and molecular self-assembly: Low temperature STM investigations and manipulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iancu, Violeta

    This dissertation is devoted to single molecule investigations and manipulations of two porphyrin-based molecules, chlorophyll-a and Co-porphyrin. The molecules are adsorbed on metallic substrates and studied at low temperatures using a scanning tunneling microscope. The electronic, structural and mechanical properties of the molecules are investigated in detail with atomic level precision. Chlorophyll-a is the key ingredient in photosynthesis processes while Co-porphyrin is a magnetic molecule that represents the recent emerging field of molecular spintronics. Using the scanning tunneling microscope tip and the substrate as electrodes, and the molecules as active ingredients, single molecule switches made of these two molecules are demonstrated. The first switch, a multiple and reversible mechanical switch, is realized by using chlorophyll-a where the energy transfer of a single tunneling electron is used to rotate a C-C bond of the molecule's tail on a Au(111) surface. Here, the detailed underlying switching mechanisms are uncovered from the statistical analyses conducted over 1200 switching events together with the support of geometrically relaxed parametric calculations. The second switch, a spintronic switch, uses Co-porphyrin conformational changes to tune the spin-electron interaction between the Co atom and Cu(111) electrons. A change in the molecular conformation, from saddle to planar, leads to enhanced spin-electron coupling strength, and consequently, elevated Kondo temperatures. Self-assembly process is exploited for both the molecules and the analyses reveal important information regarding the layer growth and the electronic differences that appear due to the modified molecule-substrate environment.

  2. Single Molecule Spectroscopy and Scanning Probe Microscopy to Investigate Excited State Energy Transport in Quantum Dot Higher Order Structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Orden, Alan; Gelfand, Martin; Ryan, Duncan; Whitcomb, Kevin

    2014-03-01

    Single molecule fluorescence spectroscopy and scanning probe microscopy have been used to investigate small isolated clusters of CdSe/ZnS nanocrystalline quantum dots dispersed on insulating, conducting, and semiconducting surfaces. The aggregated quantum dots exhibit excited state energy transfer and charge transport which affects the time dependent autocorrelation of the photoluminescence (PL) emission intensity, photon counting statistics, blinking statistics, and PL lifetime, as observed by single molecule fluorescence spectroscopy. The structural arrangement of the nanocrystals and the electron transfer between the quantum dots and substrate can be investigated using atomic force microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and scanning tunneling microscopy. These combined experiments provide novel perspectives on energy and electron transport in quantum dot higher order structures and the effects of structural arrangements, substrates, and attached ligands. These insights will enhance the development of technological applications of quantum dots, including bioimaging, display technology, and alternative energy technology. Research supported by NSF Grant 1059089.

  3. Studying the mechanism of CD47-SIRPα interactions on red blood cells by single molecule force spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pan, Yangang; Wang, Feng; Liu, Yanhou; Jiang, Junguang; Yang, Yong-Guang; Wang, Hongda

    2014-08-01

    The interaction forces and binding kinetics between SIRPα and CD47 were investigated by single-molecule force spectroscopy (SMFS) on both fresh and experimentally aged human red blood cells (hRBCs). We found that CD47 experienced a conformation change after oxidation, which influenced the interaction force and the position of the energy barrier between SIRPα and CD47. Our results are significant for understanding the mechanism of phagocytosis of red blood cells at the single molecule level.The interaction forces and binding kinetics between SIRPα and CD47 were investigated by single-molecule force spectroscopy (SMFS) on both fresh and experimentally aged human red blood cells (hRBCs). We found that CD47 experienced a conformation change after oxidation, which influenced the interaction force and the position of the energy barrier between SIRPα and CD47. Our results are significant for understanding the mechanism of phagocytosis of red blood cells at the single molecule level. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available: Experimental section. See DOI: 10.1039/c4nr02889a

  4. Direct observation of molecular orbitals in an individual single-molecule magnet Mn12 on Bi(111).

    PubMed

    Sun, Kai; Park, Kyungwha; Xie, Jiale; Luo, Jiyong; Yuan, Hongkuan; Xiong, Zuhong; Wang, Junzhong; Xue, Qikun

    2013-08-27

    Single-molecule nanomagnets have unique quantum properties, and their potential applications require characterization and accessibility of individual single-molecule magnets on various substrates. We develop a gentle tip-deposition method to bring individual prototype single-molecule magnets, manganese-12-acetate (Mn12) molecules, onto the semimetallic Bi(111) surface without linker molecules, using low-temperature scanning tunneling microscopy. We are able to identify both the almost flat-lying and side-lying orientations of Mn12 molecules at 4.5 K. Energy-resolved spectroscopic mapping enables the first observation of several molecular orbitals of individual Mn12 molecules in real space, which is consistent with density functional theory calculations. Both experimental and theoretical results suggest that an energy gap between the highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) and the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO) of the almost flat-lying Mn12 is only 40% of such a gap for an isolated (free) Mn12 molecule, which is caused by charge transfer from the metallic surface states of Bi to the Mn12. Despite the reduction of this gap, STM images show that the local lattices of Bi(111) covered with Mn12 remain essentially intact, indicating that Mn12-Bi interactions are not strong. Our findings open an avenue to address directly the local structural and electronic properties of individual single-molecule magnets on solid substrates.

  5. Single Molecule Detection in Living Biological Cells using Carbon Nanotube Optical Probes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strano, Michael

    2009-03-01

    Nanoscale sensing elements offer promise for single molecule analyte detection in physically or biologically constrained environments. Molecular adsorption can be amplified via modulation of sharp singularities in the electronic density of states that arise from 1D quantum confinement [1]. Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNT), as single molecule optical sensors [2-3], offer unique advantages such as photostable near-infrared (n-IR) emission for prolonged detection through biological media, single-molecule sensitivity and, nearly orthogonal optical modes for signal transduction that can be used to identify distinct classes of analytes. Selective binding to the SWNT surface is difficult to engineer [4]. In this lecture, we will briefly review the immerging field of fluorescent diagnostics using band gap emission from SWNT. In recent work, we demonstrate that even a single pair of SWNT provides at least four optical modes that can be modulated to uniquely fingerprint chemical agents by the degree to which they alter either the emission band intensity or wavelength. We validate this identification method in vitro by demonstrating detection and identification of six genotoxic analytes, including chemotherapeutic drugs and reactive oxygen species (ROS), which are spectroscopically differentiated into four distinct classes. We also demonstrate single-molecule sensitivity in detecting hydrogen peroxide, one of the most common genotoxins and an important cellular signal. Finally, we employ our sensing and fingerprinting method of these analytes in real time within live 3T3 cells, demonstrating the first multiplexed optical detection from a nanoscale biosensor and the first label-free tool to optically discriminate between genotoxins. We will also discuss our recent efforts to fabricate biomedical sensors for real time detection of glucose and other important physiologically relevant analytes in-vivo. The response of embedded SWNT in a swellable hydrogel construct to

  6. Single Molecule Screening of Disease DNA Without Amplification

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, Ji-Young

    2006-01-01

    The potential of single molecule detection as an analysis tool in biological and medical fields is well recognized today. This fast evolving technique will provide fundamental sensitivity to pick up individual pathogen molecules, and therefore contribute to a more accurate diagnosis and a better chance for a complete cure. Many studies are being carried out to successfully apply this technique in real screening fields. In this dissertation, several attempts are shown that have been made to test and refine the application of the single molecule technique as a clinical screening method. A basic applicability was tested with a 100% target content sample, using electrophoretic mobility and multiple colors as identification tools. Both electrophoretic and spectral information of individual molecule were collected within a second, while the molecule travels along the flow in a capillary. Insertion of a transmission grating made the recording of the whole spectrum of a dye-stained molecule possible without adding complicated instrumental components. Collecting two kinds of information simultaneously and combining them allowed more thorough identification, up to 98.8% accuracy. Probing mRNA molecules with fluorescently labeled cDNA via hybridization was also carried out. The spectral differences among target, probe, and hybrid were interpreted in terms of dispersion distances after transmission grating, and used for the identification of each molecule. The probes were designed to have the least background when they are free, but have strong fluorescence after hybridization via fluorescence resonance energy transfer. The mRNA-cDNA hybrids were further imaged in whole blood, plasma, and saliva, to test how far a crude preparation can be tolerated. Imaging was possible with up to 50% of clear bio-matrix contents, suggesting a simple lysis and dilution would be sufficient for imaging for some cells. Real pathogen DNA of human papillomavirus (HPV) type-I6 in human genomic DNA

  7. Single-molecule imaging of DNA polymerase I (Klenow fragment) activity by atomic force microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chao, J.; Zhang, P.; Wang, Q.; Wu, N.; Zhang, F.; Hu, J.; Fan, C. H.; Li, B.

    2016-03-01

    We report a DNA origami-facilitated single-molecule platform that exploits atomic force microscopy to study DNA replication. We imaged several functional activities of the Klenow fragment of E. coli DNA polymerase I (KF) including binding, moving, and dissociation from the template DNA. Upon completion of these actions, a double-stranded DNA molecule was formed. Furthermore, the direction of KF activities was captured and then confirmed by shifting the KF binding sites on the template DNA.We report a DNA origami-facilitated single-molecule platform that exploits atomic force microscopy to study DNA replication. We imaged several functional activities of the Klenow fragment of E. coli DNA polymerase I (KF) including binding, moving, and dissociation from the template DNA. Upon completion of these actions, a double-stranded DNA molecule was formed. Furthermore, the direction of KF activities was captured and then confirmed by shifting the KF binding sites on the template DNA. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available. See DOI: 10.1039/c5nr06544e

  8. Nanopore arrays in a silicon membrane for parallel single-molecule detection: DNA translocation.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Miao; Schmidt, Torsten; Jemt, Anders; Sahlén, Pelin; Sychugov, Ilya; Lundeberg, Joakim; Linnros, Jan

    2015-08-01

    Optical nanopore sensing offers great potential in single-molecule detection, genotyping, or DNA sequencing for high-throughput applications. However, one of the bottle-necks for fluorophore-based biomolecule sensing is the lack of an optically optimized membrane with a large array of nanopores, which has large pore-to-pore distance, small variation in pore size and low background photoluminescence (PL). Here, we demonstrate parallel detection of single-fluorophore-labeled DNA strands (450 bps) translocating through an array of silicon nanopores that fulfills the above-mentioned requirements for optical sensing. The nanopore array was fabricated using electron beam lithography and anisotropic etching followed by electrochemical etching resulting in pore diameters down to ∼7 nm. The DNA translocation measurements were performed in a conventional wide-field microscope tailored for effective background PL control. The individual nanopore diameter was found to have a substantial effect on the translocation velocity, where smaller openings slow the translocation enough for the event to be clearly detectable in the fluorescence. Our results demonstrate that a uniform silicon nanopore array combined with wide-field optical detection is a promising alternative with which to realize massively-parallel single-molecule detection. PMID:26180050

  9. All-Dielectric Silicon Nanogap Antennas To Enhance the Fluorescence of Single Molecules.

    PubMed

    Regmi, Raju; Berthelot, Johann; Winkler, Pamina M; Mivelle, Mathieu; Proust, Julien; Bedu, Frédéric; Ozerov, Igor; Begou, Thomas; Lumeau, Julien; Rigneault, Hervé; García-Parajó, María F; Bidault, Sébastien; Wenger, Jérôme; Bonod, Nicolas

    2016-08-10

    Plasmonic antennas have a profound impact on nanophotonics as they provide efficient means to manipulate light and enhance light-matter interactions at the nanoscale. However, the large absorption losses found in metals can severely limit the plasmonic applications in the visible spectral range. Here, we demonstrate the effectiveness of an alternative approach using all-dielectric nanoantennas based on silicon dimers to enhance the fluorescence detection of single molecules. The silicon antenna design is optimized to confine the near-field intensity in the 20 nm nanogap and reach a 270-fold fluorescence enhancement in a nanoscale volume of λ(3)/1800 with dielectric materials only. Our conclusions are assessed by combining polarization resolved optical spectroscopy of individual antennas, scanning electron microscopy, numerical simulations, fluorescence lifetime measurements, fluorescence burst analysis, and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy. This work demonstrates that all-silicon nanoantennas are a valid alternative to plasmonic devices for enhanced single molecule fluorescence sensing, with the additional key advantages of reduced nonradiative quenching, negligible heat generation, cost-efficiency, and complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) compatibility. PMID:27399057

  10. All-Dielectric Silicon Nanogap Antennas To Enhance the Fluorescence of Single Molecules.

    PubMed

    Regmi, Raju; Berthelot, Johann; Winkler, Pamina M; Mivelle, Mathieu; Proust, Julien; Bedu, Frédéric; Ozerov, Igor; Begou, Thomas; Lumeau, Julien; Rigneault, Hervé; García-Parajó, María F; Bidault, Sébastien; Wenger, Jérôme; Bonod, Nicolas

    2016-08-10

    Plasmonic antennas have a profound impact on nanophotonics as they provide efficient means to manipulate light and enhance light-matter interactions at the nanoscale. However, the large absorption losses found in metals can severely limit the plasmonic applications in the visible spectral range. Here, we demonstrate the effectiveness of an alternative approach using all-dielectric nanoantennas based on silicon dimers to enhance the fluorescence detection of single molecules. The silicon antenna design is optimized to confine the near-field intensity in the 20 nm nanogap and reach a 270-fold fluorescence enhancement in a nanoscale volume of λ(3)/1800 with dielectric materials only. Our conclusions are assessed by combining polarization resolved optical spectroscopy of individual antennas, scanning electron microscopy, numerical simulations, fluorescence lifetime measurements, fluorescence burst analysis, and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy. This work demonstrates that all-silicon nanoantennas are a valid alternative to plasmonic devices for enhanced single molecule fluorescence sensing, with the additional key advantages of reduced nonradiative quenching, negligible heat generation, cost-efficiency, and complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) compatibility.

  11. Limits of single-molecule super-resolution microscopy in thin polymer films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Muzhou; Davanco, Marcelo; Marr, James M.; Liddle, J. Alexander; Gilman, Jeffrey W.

    Structural characterization by super-resolution microscopy has become increasingly widespread, particularly in the biological community. The technique is powerful because it can produce real-space images with resolutions of tens of nanometers, while sample preparation is relatively non-invasive. Previous studies have applied these techniques to important scientific problems in the life sciences, but relatively little work has explored the attainable limit of resolution using samples of known structure. In this work, we apply photo-activated localization microscopy (PALM) to polymer films that have been nanopatterned using electron-beam lithography. Trace amounts of a rhodamine spiroamide dye are dispersed into nanostructured poly(methyl methacrylate), and UV-induced switching of the fluorophores enables nanoscale localization of single molecules to generate a final composite super-resolution image. Features as small as 50 nm are clearly resolvable. To determine the ultimate resolution limit, we investigate sources of error in the system, particularly from systematic mislocalizations due to the effect of fluorophore orientation on the single-molecule point-spread function.

  12. Nanopore arrays in a silicon membrane for parallel single-molecule detection: DNA translocation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Miao; Schmidt, Torsten; Jemt, Anders; Sahlén, Pelin; Sychugov, Ilya; Lundeberg, Joakim; Linnros, Jan

    2015-08-01

    Optical nanopore sensing offers great potential in single-molecule detection, genotyping, or DNA sequencing for high-throughput applications. However, one of the bottle-necks for fluorophore-based biomolecule sensing is the lack of an optically optimized membrane with a large array of nanopores, which has large pore-to-pore distance, small variation in pore size and low background photoluminescence (PL). Here, we demonstrate parallel detection of single-fluorophore-labeled DNA strands (450 bps) translocating through an array of silicon nanopores that fulfills the above-mentioned requirements for optical sensing. The nanopore array was fabricated using electron beam lithography and anisotropic etching followed by electrochemical etching resulting in pore diameters down to ∼7 nm. The DNA translocation measurements were performed in a conventional wide-field microscope tailored for effective background PL control. The individual nanopore diameter was found to have a substantial effect on the translocation velocity, where smaller openings slow the translocation enough for the event to be clearly detectable in the fluorescence. Our results demonstrate that a uniform silicon nanopore array combined with wide-field optical detection is a promising alternative with which to realize massively-parallel single-molecule detection.

  13. Interfacial electron transfer of glucose oxidase on poly(glutamic acid)-modified glassy carbon electrode and glucose sensing.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Xuechou; Tan, Bingcan; Zheng, Xinyu; Kong, Dexian; Li, Qinglu

    2015-11-15

    The interfacial electron transfer of glucose oxidase (GOx) on a poly(glutamic acid)-modified glassy carbon electrode (PGA/GCE) was investigated. The redox peaks measured for GOx and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) are similar, and the anodic peak of GOx does not increase in the presence of glucose in a mediator-free solution. These indicate that the electroactivity of GOx is not the direct electron transfer (DET) between GOx and PGA/GCE and that the observed electroactivity of GOx is ascribed to free FAD that is released from GOx. However, efficient electron transfer occurred if an appropriate mediator was placed in solution, suggesting that GOx is active. The PGA/GCE-based biosensor showed wide linear response in the range of 0.5-5.5 mM with a low detection limit of 0.12 mM and high sensitivity and selectivity for measuring glucose. PMID:26278169

  14. Interfacial electron transfer of glucose oxidase on poly(glutamic acid)-modified glassy carbon electrode and glucose sensing.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Xuechou; Tan, Bingcan; Zheng, Xinyu; Kong, Dexian; Li, Qinglu

    2015-11-15

    The interfacial electron transfer of glucose oxidase (GOx) on a poly(glutamic acid)-modified glassy carbon electrode (PGA/GCE) was investigated. The redox peaks measured for GOx and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) are similar, and the anodic peak of GOx does not increase in the presence of glucose in a mediator-free solution. These indicate that the electroactivity of GOx is not the direct electron transfer (DET) between GOx and PGA/GCE and that the observed electroactivity of GOx is ascribed to free FAD that is released from GOx. However, efficient electron transfer occurred if an appropriate mediator was placed in solution, suggesting that GOx is active. The PGA/GCE-based biosensor showed wide linear response in the range of 0.5-5.5 mM with a low detection limit of 0.12 mM and high sensitivity and selectivity for measuring glucose.

  15. Interfacial electron and phonon scattering processes in high-powered nanoscale applications.

    SciTech Connect

    Hopkins, Patrick E.

    2011-10-01

    The overarching goal of this Truman LDRD project was to explore mechanisms of thermal transport at interfaces of nanomaterials, specifically linking the thermal conductivity and thermal boundary conductance to the structures and geometries of interfaces and boundaries. Deposition, fabrication, and post possessing procedures of nanocomposites and devices can give rise to interatomic mixing around interfaces of materials leading to stresses and imperfections that could affect heat transfer. An understanding of the physics of energy carrier scattering processes and their response to interfacial disorder will elucidate the potentials of applying these novel materials to next-generation high powered nanodevices and energy conversion applications. An additional goal of this project was to use the knowledge gained from linking interfacial structure to thermal transport in order to develop avenues to control, or 'tune' the thermal transport in nanosystems.

  16. Interfacial electronic transport phenomena in single crystalline Fe-MgO-Fe thin barrier junctions

    SciTech Connect

    Gangineni, R. B.; Negulescu, B.; Baraduc, C.; Gaudin, G.

    2014-05-05

    Spin filtering effects in nano-pillars of Fe-MgO-Fe single crystalline magnetic tunnel junctions are explored with two different sample architectures and thin MgO barriers (thickness: 3–8 monolayers). The two architectures, with different growth and annealing conditions of the bottom electrode, allow tuning the quality of the bottom Fe/MgO interface. As a result, an interfacial resonance states (IRS) is observed or not depending on this interface quality. The IRS contribution, observed by spin polarized tunnel spectroscopy, is analyzed as a function of the MgO barrier thickness. Our experimental findings agree with theoretical predictions concerning the symmetry of the low energy (0.2 eV) interfacial resonance states: a mixture of Δ{sub 1}-like and Δ{sub 5}-like symmetries.

  17. Single molecule vibrationally mediated chemistry. Towards state-specific strategies for molecular handling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pascual, J. I.

    2005-08-01

    Tunnelling electrons may scatter inelastically with an adsorbate, releasing part of their energy through the excitation of molecular vibrations. The resolution of inelastic processes with a low temperature scanning tunnelling microscope (STM) provides a valuable tool to chemically characterize single adsorbates and their adsorption mechanisms. Here, we present a molecular scale picture of single molecule vibrational chemistry, as resolved by STM. To understand the way a reaction proceed it is needed knowledge about both the excitation and damping of a molecular vibration. The excitation is mediated by the specific coupling between electronic molecular resonances present at the Fermi level and vibrational states of the adsorbate. Thus, the two-dimensional mapping of the inelastic signal with an STM provides the spatial distribution of the adsorbate electronic states (near the Fermi level) which are predominantly coupled to the particular vibrational mode observed. The damping of the vibration follows a competition between different mechanisms, mediated via the creation of electron-hole pairs or via anharmonic coupling between vibrational states. This latter case give rise to effective energy transfer mechanisms which eventually may focus vibrational energy in a specific reaction coordinate. In this single-molecule work-bench, STM provides alternative tools to understand reactivity in the limit of low excitation rate, which demonstrate the existence of state-specific excitation strategies which may lead to selectivity in the product of a reaction. The author acknowledges his co-workers in the work presented here, H. Conrad, N. Lorente, H.-P. Rust, and Z. Song, as well as collaborations with J. Gómez Herrero, J.J. Jackiw, D. Sánchez-Portal and P.S. Weiss.

  18. Single Molecule Epigenetic Analysis in a Nanofluidic Channel

    PubMed Central

    Cipriany, Benjamin R.; Zhao, Ruqian; Murphy, Patrick J.; Levy, Stephen L.; Tan, Christine P.; Craighead, Harold G.; Soloway, Paul D.

    2010-01-01

    Epigenetic states are governed by DNA methylation and a host of modifications to histones bound with DNA. These states are essential for proper developmentally regulated gene expression and are perturbed in many diseases. There is great interest in identifying epigenetic mark placement genome-wide and understanding how these marks vary among cell types, with changes in environment or according to health and disease status. Current epigenomic analyses employ bisulfite sequencing and chromatin immunoprecipitation, but query only one type of epigenetic mark at a time, DNA methylation or histone modifications, and often require substantial input material. To overcome these limitations, we established a method using nanofluidics and multi-color fluorescence microscopy to detect DNA and histones in individual chromatin fragments at about 10 Mbp/min. We demonstrated its utility for epigenetic analysis by identifying DNA methylation on individual molecules. This technique will provide the unprecedented opportunity for genome-wide, simultaneous analysis of multiple epigenetic states on single molecules using femtogram quantities of material. PMID:20184350

  19. Single Molecule Magnetic Force Detection with a Carbon Nanotube Resonator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Willick, Kyle; Walker, Sean; Baugh, Jonathan

    2015-03-01

    Single molecule magnets (SMMs) sit at the boundary between macroscopic magnetic behaviour and quantum phenomena. Detecting the magnetic moment of an individual SMM would allow exploration of this boundary, and could enable technological applications based on SMMs such as quantum information processing. Detection of these magnetic moments remains an experimental challenge, particularly at the time scales of relaxation and decoherence. We present a technique for sensitive magnetic force detection that should permit such measurements. A suspended carbon nanotube (CNT) mechanical resonator is combined with a magnetic field gradient generated by a ferromagnetic gate electrode, which couples the magnetic moment of a nanomagnet to the resonant motion of the CNT. Numerical calculations of the mechanical resonance show that resonant frequency shifts on the order of a few kHz arise due to single Bohr magneton changes in magnetic moment. A signal-to-noise analysis based on thermomechanical noise shows that magnetic switching at the level of a Bohr magneton can be measured in a single shot on timescales as short as 10 μs. This sensitivity should enable studies of the spin dynamics of an isolated SMM, within the spin relaxation timescales for many available SMMs. Supported by NSERC.

  20. Temperature-cycle microscopy reveals single-molecule conformational heterogeneity.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Haifeng; Gaiduk, Alexander; Siekierzycka, Joanna R; Fujiyoshi, Satoru; Matsushita, Michio; Nettels, Daniel; Schuler, Benjamin; Seidel, Claus A M; Orrit, Michel

    2015-03-01

    Our previous temperature-cycle study reported FRET transitions between different states on FRET-labeled polyprolines [Yuan et al., PCCP, 2011, 13, 1762]. The conformational origin of such transitions, however, was left open. In this work, we apply temperature-cycle microscopy of single FRET-labeled polyproline and dsDNA molecules and compare their responses to resolve the conformational origin of different FRET states. We observe different steady-state FRET distributions and different temperature-cycle responses in the two samples. Our temperature-cycle results on single molecules resemble the results in steady-state measurements but reveal a dark state which could not be observed otherwise. By comparing the timescales and probabilities of different FRET states in temperature-cycle traces, we assign the conformational heterogeneity reflected by different FRET states to linker dynamics, dye-chain and dye-dye interactions. The dark state and low-FRET state are likely due to dye-dye interactions at short separations.

  1. Quantitative structural information from single-molecule FRET.

    PubMed

    Beckers, M; Drechsler, F; Eilert, T; Nagy, J; Michaelis, J

    2015-01-01

    Single-molecule studies can be used to study biological processes directly and in real-time. In particular, the fluorescence energy transfer between reporter dye molecules attached to specific sites on macromolecular complexes can be used to infer distance information. When several measurements are combined, the information can be used to determine the position and conformation of certain domains with respect to the complex. However, data analysis schemes that include all experimental uncertainties are highly complex, and the outcome depends on assumptions about the state of the dye molecules. Here, we present a new analysis algorithm using Bayesian parameter estimation based on Markov Chain Monte Carlo sampling and parallel tempering termed Fast-NPS that can analyse large smFRET networks in a relatively short time and yields the position of the dye molecules together with their respective uncertainties. Moreover, we show what effects different assumptions about the dye molecules have on the outcome. We discuss the possibilities and pitfalls in structure determination based on smFRET using experimental data for an archaeal transcription pre-initiation complex, whose architecture has recently been unravelled by smFRET measurements. PMID:26407323

  2. Optical microcavity: sensing down to single molecules and atoms.

    PubMed

    Yoshie, Tomoyuki; Tang, Lingling; Su, Shu-Yu

    2011-01-01

    This review article discusses fundamentals of dielectric, low-loss, optical micro-resonator sensing, including figures of merit and a variety of microcavity designs, and future perspectives in microcavity-based optical sensing. Resonance frequency and quality (Q) factor are altered as a means of detecting a small system perturbation, resulting in realization of optical sensing of a small amount of sample materials, down to even single molecules. Sensitivity, Q factor, minimum detectable index change, noises (in sensor system components and microcavity system including environments), microcavity size, and mode volume are essential parameters to be considered for optical sensing applications. Whispering gallery mode, photonic crystal, and slot-type microcavities typically provide compact, high-quality optical resonance modes for optical sensing applications. Surface Bloch modes induced on photonic crystals are shown to be a promising candidate thanks to large field overlap with a sample and ultra-high-Q resonances. Quantum optics effects based on microcavity quantum electrodynamics (QED) would provide novel single-photo-level detection of even single atoms and molecules via detection of doublet vacuum Rabi splitting peaks in strong coupling.

  3. Single molecule detection of direct, homologous, DNA/DNA pairing

    PubMed Central

    Danilowicz, C.; Lee, C. H.; Kim, K.; Hatch, K.; Coljee, V. W.; Kleckner, N.; Prentiss, M.

    2009-01-01

    Using a parallel single molecule magnetic tweezers assay we demonstrate homologous pairing of two double-stranded (ds) DNA molecules in the absence of proteins, divalent metal ions, crowding agents, or free DNA ends. Pairing is accurate and rapid under physiological conditions of temperature and monovalent salt, even at DNA molecule concentrations orders of magnitude below those found in vivo, and in the presence of a large excess of nonspecific competitor DNA. Crowding agents further increase the reaction rate. Pairing is readily detected between regions of homology of 5 kb or more. Detected pairs are stable against thermal forces and shear forces up to 10 pN. These results strongly suggest that direct recognition of homology between chemically intact B-DNA molecules should be possible in vivo. The robustness of the observed signal raises the possibility that pairing might even be the “default” option, limited to desired situations by specific features. Protein-independent homologous pairing of intact dsDNA has been predicted theoretically, but further studies are needed to determine whether existing theories fit sequence length, temperature, and salt dependencies described here. PMID:19903884

  4. Analysis and Interpretation of Single Molecule Protein Unfolding Kinetics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lannon, Herbert; Brujic, Jasna

    2012-02-01

    The kinetics of protein unfolding under a stretching force has been extensively studied by atomic force microscopy (AFM) over the past decade [1]. Experimental artifacts at the single molecule level introduce uncertainties in the data analysis that have led to several competing physical models for the unfolding process. For example, the unfolding dynamics of the protein ubiquitin under constant force has been described by probability distributions as diverse as exponential [2,3], a sum of exponentials, log-normal [4], and more recently a function describing static disorder in the Arrhenius model [5]. A new method for data analysis is presented that utilizes maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) combined with other traditional statistical tests to unambiguously rank the consistency of these and other models with the experimental data. These techniques applied to the ubiquitin unfolding data shows that the probability of unfolding is best fit with a stretched exponential distribution, with important implications on the complexity of the mechanism of protein unfolding. [4pt] [1] Carrion-Vazquez, et. al. Springer Series in Biophys. 2006 [0pt] [2] Fernandez et. al. Science 2004 [0pt] [3] Brujic et. al. Nat. Phys 2006 [0pt] [4] Garcia-Manyes et. al. Biophys. J. 2007 [0pt] [5] Kuo et. al. PNAS 2010

  5. Single Molecule Analysis of Serotonin Transporter Regulation Using Quantum Dots

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, Jerry; Tomlinson, Ian; Warnement, Michael; Ustione, Alessandro; Carneiro, Ana; Piston, David; Blakely, Randy; Rosenthal, Sandra

    2011-03-01

    For the first time, we implement a novel, single molecule approach to define the localization and mobility of the brain's major target of widely prescribed antidepressant medications, the serotonin transporter (SERT). SERT labeled with single quantum dot (Qdot) revealed unsuspected features of transporter mobility with cholesterol-enriched membrane microdomains (often referred to as ``lipid rafts'') and cytoskeleton network linked to transporter activation. We document two pools of surface SERT proteins defined by their lateral mobility, one that exhibits relatively free diffusion in the plasma membrane and a second that displays significantly restricted mobility and localizes to cholesterol-enriched microdomains. Diffusion model prediction and instantaneous velocity analysis indicated that stimuli that act through p38 MAPK-dependent signaling pathways to activate SERT trigger rapid SERT movements within membrane microdomains. Cytoskeleton disruption showed that SERT lateral mobility behaves a membrane raft-constrained, cytoskeleton-associated manner. Our results identify an unsuspected aspect of neurotransmitter transporter regulation that we propose reflects the dissociation of inhibitory, SERT-associated cytoskeletal anchors.

  6. Single-molecule dissection of stacking forces in DNA.

    PubMed

    Kilchherr, Fabian; Wachauf, Christian; Pelz, Benjamin; Rief, Matthias; Zacharias, Martin; Dietz, Hendrik

    2016-09-01

    We directly measured at the single-molecule level the forces and lifetimes of DNA base-pair stacking interactions for all stack sequence combinations. Our experimental approach combined dual-beam optical tweezers with DNA origami components to allow positioning of blunt-end DNA helices so that the weak stacking force could be isolated. Base-pair stack arrays that lacked a covalent backbone connection spontaneously dissociated at average rates ranging from 0.02 to 500 per second, depending on the sequence combination and stack array size. Forces in the range from 2 to 8 piconewtons that act along the helical direction only mildly accelerated the stochastic unstacking process. The free-energy increments per stack that we estimate from the measured forward and backward kinetic rates ranged from -0.8 to -3.4 kilocalories per mole, depending on the sequence combination. Our data contributes to understanding the mechanics of DNA processing in biology, and it is helpful for designing the kinetics of DNA-based nanoscale devices according to user specifications.

  7. Single-molecule localization microscopy using mCherry.

    PubMed

    Winterflood, Christian M; Ewers, Helge

    2014-11-10

    We demonstrate the potential of the commonly used red fluorescent protein mCherry for single-molecule super-resolution imaging. mCherry can be driven into a light-induced dark state in the presence of a thiol from which it can recover spontaneously or by irradiation with near UV light. We show imaging of subcellular protein structures such as microtubules and the nuclear pore complex with a resolution below 40 nm. We were able to image the C-terminus of the nuclear pore protein POM121, which is on the inside of the pore and not readily accessible for external labeling. The photon yield for mCherry is comparable to that of the latest optical highlighter fluorescent proteins. Our findings show that the widely used mCherry red fluorescent protein and the vast number of existing mCherry fusion proteins are readily amenable to super-resolution imaging. This obviates the need for generating novel protein fusions that may compromise function or the need for external fluorescent labeling.

  8. Extracting Conformational Memory from Single-Molecule Kinetic Data

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Julian; Dill, Ken A.

    2013-01-01

    Single-molecule data often comes in the form of stochastic time trajectories. A key question is how to extract an underlying kinetic model from the data. A traditional approach is to assume some discrete state model, i.e. a model topology, and to assume that transitions between states are Markovian. The transition rates are then selected according to which best fit the data. However in experiments, each apparent state can be a broad ensemble of states or can be hiding multiple inter-converting states. Here we describe a more general approach called the non-Markov Memory Kernel (NMMK) method. The idea is to begin with a very broad class of non-Markov models and to let the data directly select for the best possible model. To do so, we adapt an image reconstruction approach that is grounded in Maximum Entropy. The NMMK method is not limited to discrete state models for the data; it yields a unique model given the data; it gives error bars for the model; it does not assume Markov dynamics. Furthermore, NMMK is less wasteful of data by letting the entire data set determine the model. When the data warrants, the NMMK gives a memory kernel that is Markovian. We highlight, by numerical example, how conformational memory extracted using this method can be translated into useful mechanistic insight. PMID:23259771

  9. Mechanical fatigue in repetitively stretched single molecules of titin.

    PubMed Central

    Kellermayer, M S; Smith, S B; Bustamante, C; Granzier, H L

    2001-01-01

    Relaxed striated muscle cells exhibit mechanical fatigue when exposed to repeated stretch and release cycles. To understand the molecular basis of such mechanical fatigue, single molecules of the giant filamentous protein titin, which is the main determinant of sarcomeric elasticity, were repetitively stretched and released while their force response was characterized with optical tweezers. During repeated stretch-release cycles titin becomes mechanically worn out in a process we call molecular fatigue. The process is characterized by a progressive shift of the stretch-force curve toward increasing end-to-end lengths, indicating that repeated mechanical cycles increase titin's effective contour length. Molecular fatigue occurs only in a restricted force range (0-25 pN) during the initial part of the stretch half-cycle, whereas the rest of the force response is repeated from one mechanical cycle to the other. Protein-folding models fail to explain molecular fatigue on the basis of an incomplete refolding of titin's globular domains. Rather, the process apparently derives from the formation of labile nonspecific bonds cross-linking various sites along a pre-unfolded titin segment. Because titin's molecular fatigue occurs in a physiologically relevant force range, the process may play an important role in dynamically adjusting muscle's response to the recent history of mechanical perturbations. PMID:11159452

  10. Single-Molecule Spectroscopic Investigations of RNA Structural Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fiore, Julie L.; Nesbitt, David J.

    2007-03-01

    To function properly, catalytic RNAs (ribozymes) fold into specific three-dimensional shapes stabilized by multiple tertiary interactions. However, only limited information is available on the contributions of individual tertiary contacts to RNA conformational dynamics. The Tetrahymena ribozymes's P4--P6 domain forms a hinged, ``candy-cane'' structure with parallel helices clamped by two motifs, the GAAA tetraloop-tetraloop receptor and adenosine (A)-rich bulge--P4 helix interactions. Previously, we characterized RNA folding due to a tetraloop-receptor interaction. In this study, we employ time-resolved single-molecule FRET methods to probe A-rich bulge induced structural dynamics. Specifically, fluorescently labeled RNA constructs excited by a pulsed 532 nm laser are detected in the confocal region of an inverted microscope, with each photon sorted by arrival time, color and polarization. We resolve the kinetic dependence of A-rich bulge-P4 helix docking/undocking on cationic environment (e.g. Na^+ and Mg^2+ concentration.) At saturating [Mg^2+], the docked structure appears only weakly stabilized, while only 50% of the molecules exhibit efficient folding.

  11. Single molecule analysis of Trypanosoma brucei DNA replication dynamics.

    PubMed

    Calderano, Simone Guedes; Drosopoulos, William C; Quaresma, Marina Mônaco; Marques, Catarina A; Kosiyatrakul, Settapong; McCulloch, Richard; Schildkraut, Carl L; Elias, Maria Carolina

    2015-03-11

    Eukaryotic genome duplication relies on origins of replication, distributed over multiple chromosomes, to initiate DNA replication. A recent genome-wide analysis of Trypanosoma brucei, the etiological agent of sleeping sickness, localized its replication origins to the boundaries of multigenic transcription units. To better understand genomic replication in this organism, we examined replication by single molecule analysis of replicated DNA. We determined the average speed of replication forks of procyclic and bloodstream form cells and we found that T. brucei DNA replication rate is similar to rates seen in other eukaryotes. We also analyzed the replication dynamics of a central region of chromosome 1 in procyclic forms. We present evidence for replication terminating within the central part of the chromosome and thus emanating from both sides, suggesting a previously unmapped origin toward the 5' extremity of chromosome 1. Also, termination is not at a fixed location in chromosome 1, but is rather variable. Importantly, we found a replication origin located near an ORC1/CDC6 binding site that is detected after replicative stress induced by hydroxyurea treatment, suggesting it may be a dormant origin activated in response to replicative stress. Collectively, our findings support the existence of more replication origins in T. brucei than previously appreciated. PMID:25690894

  12. Single molecule analysis of Trypanosoma brucei DNA replication dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Calderano, Simone Guedes; Drosopoulos, William C.; Quaresma, Marina Mônaco; Marques, Catarina A.; Kosiyatrakul, Settapong; McCulloch, Richard; Schildkraut, Carl L.; Elias, Maria Carolina

    2015-01-01

    Eukaryotic genome duplication relies on origins of replication, distributed over multiple chromosomes, to initiate DNA replication. A recent genome-wide analysis of Trypanosoma brucei, the etiological agent of sleeping sickness, localized its replication origins to the boundaries of multigenic transcription units. To better understand genomic replication in this organism, we examined replication by single molecule analysis of replicated DNA. We determined the average speed of replication forks of procyclic and bloodstream form cells and we found that T. brucei DNA replication rate is similar to rates seen in other eukaryotes. We also analyzed the replication dynamics of a central region of chromosome 1 in procyclic forms. We present evidence for replication terminating within the central part of the chromosome and thus emanating from both sides, suggesting a previously unmapped origin toward the 5′ extremity of chromosome 1. Also, termination is not at a fixed location in chromosome 1, but is rather variable. Importantly, we found a replication origin located near an ORC1/CDC6 binding site that is detected after replicative stress induced by hydroxyurea treatment, suggesting it may be a dormant origin activated in response to replicative stress. Collectively, our findings support the existence of more replication origins in T. brucei than previously appreciated. PMID:25690894

  13. Single molecule studies reveal new mechanisms for microtubule severing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ross, Jennifer; Diaz-Valencia, Juan Daniel; Morelli, Margaret; Zhang, Dong; Sharp, David

    2011-03-01

    Microtubule-severing enzymes are hexameric complexes made from monomeric enzyme subunits that remove tubulin dimers from the microtubule lattice. Severing proteins are known to remodel the cytoskeleton during interphase and mitosis, and are required in proper axon morphology and mammalian bone and cartilage development. We have performed the first single molecule imaging to determine where and how severing enzymes act to cut microtubules. We have focused on the original member of the group, katanin, and the newest member, fidgetin to compare their biophysical activities in vitro. We find that, as expected, severing proteins localize to areas of activity. Interestingly, the association is very brief: they do not stay bound nor do they bind cooperatively at active sites. The association duration changes with the nucleotide content, implying that the state in the catalytic cycle dictates binding affinity with the microtubule. We also discovered that, at lower concentrations, both katanin and fidgetin can depolymerize taxol-stabilized microtubules by removing terminal dimers. These studies reveal the physical regulation schemes to control severing activity in cells, and ultimately regulate cytoskeletal architecture. This work is supported by the March of Dimes Grant #5-FY09-46.

  14. Single-Molecule Manipulation Studies of a Mechanically Activated Protein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Botello, Eric; Harris, Nolan; Choi, Huiwan; Bergeron, Angela; Dong, Jing-Fei; Kiang, Ching-Hwa

    2009-10-01

    Plasma von Willebrand factor (pVWF) is the largest multimeric adhesion ligand found in human blood and must be adhesively activated by exposure to shear stress, like at sites of vascular injury, to initiate blood clotting. Sheared pVWF (sVWF) will undergo a conformational change from a loose tangled coil to elongated strings forming adhesive fibers by binding with other sVWF. VWF's adhesion activity is also related to its length, with the ultra-large form of VWF (ULVWF) being hyper-actively adhesive without exposure to shear stress; it has also been shown to spontaneously form fibers. We used single molecule manipulation techniques with the AFM to stretch pVWF, sVWF and ULVWF and monitor the forces as a function of molecular extension. We showed a similar increase in resistance to unfolding for sVWF and ULVWF when compared to pVWF. This mechanical resistance to forced unfolding is reduced when other molecules known to disrupt their fibril formation are present. Our results show that sVWF and ULVWF domains unfold at higher forces than pVWF, which is consistent with the hypothesis that shear stress induces lateral association that alters adhesion activity of pVWF.

  15. Mechanics and Single-Molecule Interrogation of DNA Recombination.

    PubMed

    Bell, Jason C; Kowalczykowski, Stephen C

    2016-06-01

    The repair of DNA by homologous recombination is an essential, efficient, and high-fidelity process that mends DNA lesions formed during cellular metabolism; these lesions include double-stranded DNA breaks, daughter-strand gaps, and DNA cross-links. Genetic defects in the homologous recombination pathway undermine genomic integrity and cause the accumulation of gross chromosomal abnormalities-including rearrangements, deletions, and aneuploidy-that contribute to cancer formation. Recombination proceeds through the formation of joint DNA molecules-homologously paired but metastable DNA intermediates that are processed by several alternative subpathways-making recombination a versatile and robust mechanism to repair damaged chromosomes. Modern biophysical methods make it possible to visualize, probe, and manipulate the individual molecules participating in the intermediate steps of recombination, revealing new details about the mechanics of genetic recombination. We review and discuss the individual stages of homologous recombination, focusing on common pathways in bacteria, yeast, and humans, and place particular emphasis on the molecular mechanisms illuminated by single-molecule methods.

  16. Single-Molecule Mechanical Identification and Sequencing: Proof of Principle

    PubMed Central

    Ding, Fangyuan; Manosas, Maria; Spiering, Michelle M.; Benkovic, Stephen J.; Bensimon, David; Allemand, Jean-François; Croquette, Vincent

    2012-01-01

    High-throughput low-cost DNA sequencing has emerged as one of the challenges of the post-genomic era. Here we present the proof of concept for a new single-molecule platform that allows for DNA identification and sequencing. In contrast with most present methods, our scheme is not based on the detection of the fluorescence of incorporated nucleotides, but rather on the measurement of a DNA hairpin length. By cyclically modulating the force pulling on small magnetic beads tethered by a hairpin to a surface, one can unzip and rezip the molecule. In the presence of complementary oligonucleotides in solution, reziping may be transiently interrupted by the hybrids they form with the hairpin. By measuring the extension of the blocked hairpin, one can determine the position of the hybrid along the molecule with nearly single base precision. Our approach, well adapted to a high-throughput scheme, can be used to identify a DNA fragment of known sequence among a sample of various fragments and to sequence an unknown DNA fragment by hybridization or ligation. PMID:22406857

  17. Active Microfluidic Devices for Single-Molecule Experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Hao; Meiners, Jens-Christian

    2003-03-01

    Microfluidic chips have become an increasingly powerful and versatile tool in the life sciences. Multilayer devices fabricated from soft silicone elastomers in a replication molding technique are especially promising, because they permit flexible integration of active elements such as valves and pumps. In addition, they are fairly easy and inexpensive to produce. In a wide range of applications, microfluidic chips are used in conjunction with optical detection and manipulation techniques. However their widespread use has been hampered due to problems with interconnect stability, optical accessibility, and ability to perform surface chemistry. We have developed a packaging technique that encapsulates the elastomer in an epoxy resin of high optical quality. This stabilizes the interconnects so that a chip can be repeatedly plugged in and out of a socket. Our technique also eliminates the need for a baking step that is conventionally used to attach a glass cover slip to the elastomer surface. This allows us to assemble devices that contain a cover slip coated with proteins, thereby permitting subsequent in situ attachment of DNA molecules to the bottom of the flow channels. We demonstrate the utility of our chips in single-molecule applications involving tethered-particles and optical tweezers. Support: NIH R01 GM065934 & Research Corporation

  18. Hydrodynamic effects in fast AFM single-molecule force measurements.

    PubMed

    Janovjak, Harald; Struckmeier, Jens; Müller, Daniel J

    2005-02-01

    Atomic force microscopy (AFM) allows the critical forces that unfold single proteins and rupture individual receptor-ligand bonds to be measured. To derive the shape of the energy landscape, the dynamic strength of the system is probed at different force loading rates. This is usually achieved by varying the pulling speed between a few nm/s and a few microm/s, although for a more complete investigation of the kinetic properties higher speeds are desirable. Above 10 microm/s, the hydrodynamic drag force acting on the AFM cantilever reaches the same order of magnitude as the molecular forces. This has limited the maximum pulling speed in AFM single-molecule force spectroscopy experiments. Here, we present an approach for considering these hydrodynamic effects, thereby allowing a correct evaluation of AFM force measurements recorded over an extended range of pulling speeds (and thus loading rates). To support and illustrate our theoretical considerations, we experimentally evaluated the mechanical unfolding of a multi-domain protein recorded at 30 microm/s pulling speed. PMID:15257425

  19. Mapping Transcription Factors on Extended DNA: A Single Molecule Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ebenstein, Yuval; Gassman, Natalie; Weiss, Shimon

    The ability to determine the precise loci and distribution of nucleic acid binding proteins is instrumental to our detailed understanding of cellular processes such as transcription, replication, and chromatin reorganization. Traditional molecular biology approaches and above all Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) based methods have provided a wealth of information regarding protein-DNA interactions. Nevertheless, existing techniques can only provide average properties of these interactions, since they are based on the accumulation of data from numerous protein-DNA complexes analyzed at the ensemble level. We propose a single molecule approach for direct visualization of DNA binding proteins bound specifically to their recognition sites along a long stretch of DNA such as genomic DNA. Fluorescent Quantum dots are used to tag proteins bound to DNA, and the complex is deposited on a glass substrate by extending the DNA to a linear form. The sample is then imaged optically to determine the precise location of the protein binding site. The method is demonstrated by detecting individual, Quantum dot tagged T7-RNA polymerase enzymes on the bacteriophage T7 genomic DNA and assessing the relative occupancy of the different promoters.

  20. A single-molecule view of gene regulation in cancer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larson, Daniel

    2013-03-01

    Single-cell analysis has revealed that transcription is dynamic and stochastic, but tools are lacking that can determine the mechanism operating at a single gene. Here we utilize single-molecule observations of RNA in fixed and living cells to develop a single-cell model of steroid-receptor mediated gene activation. Steroid receptors coordinate a diverse range of responses in higher eukaryotes and are involved in a wide range of human diseases, including cancer. Steroid receptor response elements are present throughout the human genome and modulate chromatin remodeling and transcription in both a local and long-range fashion. As such, steroid receptor-mediated transcription is a paradigm of genetic control in the metazoan nucleus. Moreover, the ligand-dependent nature of these transcription factors makes them appealing targets for therapeutic intervention, necessitating a quantitative understanding of how receptors control output from target genes. We determine that steroids drive mRNA synthesis by frequency modulation of transcription. This digital behavior in single cells gives rise to the well-known analog dose response across the population. To test this model, we developed a light-activation technology to turn on a single gene and follow dynamic synthesis of RNA from the activated locus. The response delay is a measure of time required for chromatin remodeling at a single gene.

  1. Whole-mount single molecule FISH method for zebrafish embryo.

    PubMed

    Oka, Yuma; Sato, Thomas N

    2015-01-01

    Noise in gene expression renders cells more adaptable to changing environment by imposing phenotypic and functional heterogeneity on genetically identical individual cells. Hence, quantitative measurement of noise in gene expression is essential for the study of biological processes in cells. Currently, there are two complementary methods for quantitatively measuring noise in gene expression at the single cell level: single molecule FISH (smFISH) and single cell qRT-PCR (or single cell RNA-seq). While smFISH has been developed for culture cells, tissue sections and whole-mount invertebrate organisms, the method has not been reported for whole-mount vertebrate organisms. Here, we report an smFISH method that is suitable for whole-mount zebrafish embryo, a popular vertebrate model organism for the studies of development, physiology and disease. We show the detection of individual transcripts for several cell-type specific and ubiquitously expressed genes at the single cell level in whole-mount zebrafish embryo. We also demonstrate that the method can be adapted to detect two different genes in individual cells simultaneously. The whole-mount smFISH method described in this report is expected to facilitate the study of noise in gene expression and its role in zebrafish, a vertebrate animal model relevant to human biology. PMID:25711926

  2. Single-molecule dissection of stacking forces in DNA.

    PubMed

    Kilchherr, Fabian; Wachauf, Christian; Pelz, Benjamin; Rief, Matthias; Zacharias, Martin; Dietz, Hendrik

    2016-09-01

    We directly measured at the single-molecule level the forces and lifetimes of DNA base-pair stacking interactions for all stack sequence combinations. Our experimental approach combined dual-beam optical tweezers with DNA origami components to allow positioning of blunt-end DNA helices so that the weak stacking force could be isolated. Base-pair stack arrays that lacked a covalent backbone connection spontaneously dissociated at average rates ranging from 0.02 to 500 per second, depending on the sequence combination and stack array size. Forces in the range from 2 to 8 piconewtons that act along the helical direction only mildly accelerated the stochastic unstacking process. The free-energy increments per stack that we estimate from the measured forward and backward kinetic rates ranged from -0.8 to -3.4 kilocalories per mole, depending on the sequence combination. Our data contributes to understanding the mechanics of DNA processing in biology, and it is helpful for designing the kinetics of DNA-based nanoscale devices according to user specifications. PMID:27609897

  3. A single molecule study of cellulase hydrolysis of crystalline cellulose

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Yu-San; Luo, Yonghua; Baker, John O.; Zeng, Yining; Himmel, Michael E.; Smith, Steve; Ding, Shi-You

    2010-02-01

    Cellobiohydrolase-I (CBH I), a processive exoglucanase secreted by Trichoderma reesei, is one of the key enzyme components in a commercial cellulase mixture currently used for processing biomass to biofuels. CBH I contains a family 7 glycoside hydrolase catalytic module, a family 1 carbohydrate-binding module (CBM), and a highlyglycosylated linker peptide. It has been proposed that the CBH I cellulase initiates the hydrolysis from the reducing end of one cellulose chain and successively cleaves alternate β-1,4-glycosidic bonds to release cellobiose as its principal end product. The role each module of CBH I plays in the processive hydrolysis of crystalline cellulose has yet to be convincingly elucidated. In this report, we use a single-molecule approach that combines optical (Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence microscopy, or TIRF-M) and non-optical (Atomic Force Microscopy, or AFM) imaging techniques to analyze the molecular motion of CBM tagged with green fluorescence protein (GFP), and to investigate the surface structure of crystalline cellulose and changes made in the structure by CBM and CBH I. The preliminary results have revealed a confined nanometer-scale movement of the TrCBM1-GFP bound to cellulose, and decreases in cellulose crystal size as well as increases in surface roughness during CBH I hydrolysis of crystalline cellulose.

  4. Single Molecule Visualization of DNA in Pure Shear Flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Connie; Duggal, Rajat; Pasquali, Matteo

    2003-03-01

    Polymers are ever-present in society from plastic bottles to DNA. The study of single molecule dynamics will provide the opportunity for advances in fields from synthetic polymer coatings to gene therapy. Many applications involve flow of dilute polymer solutions in viscous solvents. These long, flexible polymer chains (DNA) are coiled at rest in solution. The configuration of the molecules is altered by the applied flow which, in turn, affects the dynamics of the flow. Control of flow allows for manipulation of the DNA molecules. Our apparatus consists of a rectangular channel that has been plasma etched into a silicon wafer with pressure driven flow (pulse-free syringe pump). The dynamics of the DNA molecules in flow are monitored using fluorescence microscopy and digital imaging. The flow channel was designed to allow for visualization of the molecules in the plane defined by velocity and velocity gradient instead of the plane identified by the velocity and the vorticity (previously studied by Smith et al (1999) and LeDuc et al (1999)). Moreover, we can visualize the DNA in a flow where the velocity gradient is not uniform. The individual and average conformations (size and orientation) of the flowing DNA molecules are being studied as a function of the Weissenberg number (product of strain rate and DNA relaxation time) and distance from the channel walls.

  5. De novo DNA synthesis using single molecule PCR

    PubMed Central

    Yehezkel, Tuval Ben; Linshiz, Gregory; Buaron, Hen; Kaplan, Shai; Shabi, Uri; Shapiro, Ehud

    2008-01-01

    The throughput of DNA reading (sequencing) has dramatically increased recently due to the incorporation of in vitro clonal amplification. The throughput of DNA writing (synthesis) is trailing behind, with cloning and sequencing constituting the main bottleneck. To overcome this bottleneck, an in vitro alternative for in vivo DNA cloning must be integrated into DNA synthesis methods. Here we show how a new single molecule PCR (smPCR)-based procedure can be employed as a general substitute to in vivo cloning thereby allowing for the first time in vitro DNA synthesis. We integrated this rapid and high fidelity in vitro procedure into our earlier recursive DNA synthesis and error correction procedure and used it to efficiently construct and error-correct a 1.8-kb DNA molecule from synthetic unpurified oligos completely in vitro. Although we demonstrate incorporating smPCR in a particular method, the approach is general and can be used in principle in conjunction with other DNA synthesis methods as well. PMID:18667587

  6. Complementary Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor Integrated Carbon Nanotube Arrays: Toward Wide-Bandwidth Single-Molecule Sensing Systems.

    PubMed

    Warren, Steven B; Vernick, Sefi; Romano, Ethan; Shepard, Kenneth L

    2016-04-13

    There is strong interest in realizing genomic molecular diagnostic platforms that are label-free, electronic, and single-molecule. One attractive transducer for such efforts is the single-molecule field-effect transistor (smFET), capable of detecting a single electronic charge and realized with a point-functionalized exposed-gate one-dimensional carbon nanotube field-effect device. In this work, smFETs are integrated directly onto a custom complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor chip, which results in an array of up to 6000 devices delivering a measurement bandwidth of 1 MHz. In a first exploitation of these high-bandwidth measurement capabilities, point functionalization through electrochemical oxidation of the devices is observed with microsecond temporal resolution, which reveals complex reaction pathways with resolvable scattering signatures. High-rate random telegraph noise is detected in certain oxidized devices, further illustrating the measurement capabilities of the platform. PMID:26999579

  7. Interfacial properties and electron structure of Al/B4C interface: A first-principles study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xian, Yajiang; Qiu, Ruizhi; Wang, Xin; Zhang, Pengcheng

    2016-09-01

    This research aims at investigating the structural, mechanical and electronic properties of the Al (111)/B4C (0001) interface by first-principles calculations. This model geometry Al (111)/B4C (0001) is chosen because the close-packed planes of Al and B4C have the (111) and (0001) orientation, respectively, and the lattice mismatch is only ∼2.1%. Among four B4C (0001) surfaces with different terminations, our calculation of surface free energies predicted that C-terminated B4C (0001) surface is the most stable one. Relaxed atomic geometries, the work of adhesion and interfacial free energies were calculated for three C-terminated B4C (0001)/Al (111) interfaces with different stacking sequences (top-site, hollow-site, and bridge-site). Results reveal that the relaxed top-site (hollow-site-like) Al/B4C interface has the best adhesion force and also be the most stable. The interfacial electron structure including charge density difference, Bader charge and density of states (DOS) is analyzed to determine the nature of metal/carbide bonding and we find the formation of Alsbnd C bond and possibly the formation of Al4C3 in the interface.

  8. Simultaneous Patch-Clamp Recording and Single-Molecule Imaging Study of Single-Molecule Ion Channel Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harms, Greg; Orr, Galya; Thrall, Brian; Montal, Mauricio; Colson, Steve; Lu, H. Peter

    2002-03-01

    By combining real-time single-molecule fluorescence imaging measurements with real-time single-channel current measurements in membranes of lipid bilayers or in living cells, we are now able to probe single ion-channel-protein conformational changes simultaneously correlated with single ion-channel current trajectories, providing an understanding at the molecular-level of the dynamics and mechanisms of ion-channel proteins. This technical innovation has been used to gain an understanding of how ion-channel activities are regulated by conformational change dynamics and assembly mechanisms of the dye-labeled gramicidin channels, which has revealed that the gramicidin channel activity is regulated by complex gramicidin dimer conformational changes. A new multiple-state model for gramicidin ion-channel dynamics, more complex than the classic two-state diffusion model, has been postulated based on our experimental results. The single-channel activity of recombinant NMDA receptors transiently expressed in a mammalian cell-line has been recorded when tetramethylrhodamine-labeled cysteine (TMR-cysteine) and glycine were introduced into the patch-pipette in cell-attached or inside-out patches. Correlated images of a single TMR-cysteine and single NMDA channel recordings have been investigated in real-time, which begins to shed light on the molecular-level understanding of the ligand-receptor interaction dynamics in NMDA receptors in living cells.

  9. Imaging interfacial electrical transport in graphene-MoS2 heterostructures with electron-beam-induced-currents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, E. R.; Kerelsky, Alexander; Hubbard, William A.; Dhall, Rohan; Cronin, Stephen B.; Mecklenburg, Matthew; Regan, B. C.

    2015-11-01

    Heterostructure devices with specific and extraordinary properties can be fabricated by stacking two-dimensional crystals. Cleanliness at the inter-crystal interfaces within a heterostructure is crucial for maximizing device performance. However, because these interfaces are buried, characterizing their impact on device function is challenging. Here, we show that electron-beam induced current (EBIC) mapping can be used to image interfacial contamination and to characterize the quality of buried heterostructure interfaces with nanometer-scale spatial resolution. We applied EBIC and photocurrent imaging to map photo-sensitive graphene-MoS2 heterostructures. The EBIC maps, together with concurrently acquired scanning transmission electron microscopy images, reveal how a device's photocurrent collection efficiency is adversely affected by nanoscale debris invisible to optical-resolution photocurrent mapping.

  10. Water-Stable, Hydroxamate Anchors for Functionalization of TiO2 Surfaces with Ultrafast Interfacial Electron Transfer

    SciTech Connect

    McNamara, W.R.; Milot, R.L.; Song, H.; Snoeberger III, R.C.; Batista, Victor S.; Schmuttenmaer, C.A.; Brudvig, Gary W; Crabtree, Robert H

    2010-01-01

    A novel class of derivatized hydroxamic acid linkages for robust sensitization of TiO{sub 2} nanoparticles (NPs) under various aqueous conditions is described. The stability of linkages bound to metal oxides under various conditions is important in developing photocatalytic cells which incorporate transition metal complexes for solar energy conversion. In order to compare the standard carboxylate anchor to hydroxamates, two organic dyes differing only in anchoring groups were synthesized and attached to TiO{sub 2} NPs. At acidic, basic, and close to neutral pH, hydroxamic acid linkages resist detachment compared to the labile carboxylic acids. THz spectroscopy was used to compare ultrafast interfacial electron transfer (IET) into the conduction band of TiO{sub 2} for both linkages and found similar IET characteristics. Observable electron injection and stronger binding suggest that hydroxamates are a suitable class of anchors for designing water stable molecules for functionalizing TiO{sub 2}.

  11. Imaging interfacial electrical transport in graphene–MoS{sub 2} heterostructures with electron-beam-induced-currents

    SciTech Connect

    White, E. R. Kerelsky, Alexander; Hubbard, William A.; Regan, B. C.; Dhall, Rohan; Cronin, Stephen B.; Mecklenburg, Matthew

    2015-11-30

    Heterostructure devices with specific and extraordinary properties can be fabricated by stacking two-dimensional crystals. Cleanliness at the inter-crystal interfaces within a heterostructure is crucial for maximizing device performance. However, because these interfaces are buried, characterizing their impact on device function is challenging. Here, we show that electron-beam induced current (EBIC) mapping can be used to image interfacial contamination and to characterize the quality of buried heterostructure interfaces with nanometer-scale spatial resolution. We applied EBIC and photocurrent imaging to map photo-sensitive graphene-MoS{sub 2} heterostructures. The EBIC maps, together with concurrently acquired scanning transmission electron microscopy images, reveal how a device's photocurrent collection efficiency is adversely affected by nanoscale debris invisible to optical-resolution photocurrent mapping.

  12. Lab-on-a-chip technologies for single-molecule studies.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yanhui; Chen, Danqi; Yue, Hongjun; French, Jarrod B; Rufo, Joseph; Benkovic, Stephen J; Huang, Tony Jun

    2013-06-21

    Recent developments on various lab-on-a-chip techniques allow miniaturized and integrated devices to perform on-chip single-molecule studies. Fluidic-based platforms that utilize unique microscale fluidic behavior are capable of conducting single-molecule experiments with high sensitivities and throughputs, while biomolecular systems can be studied on-chip using techniques such as DNA curtains, magnetic tweezers, and solid-state nanopores. The advances of these on-chip single-molecule techniques lead to next-generation lab-on-a-chip devices, such as DNA transistors, and single-molecule real-time (SMRT) technology for rapid and low-cost whole genome DNA sequencing. In this Focus article, we will discuss some recent successes in the development of lab-on-a-chip techniques for single-molecule studies and expound our thoughts on the near future of on-chip single-molecule studies.

  13. Lab-on-a-chip technologies for single-molecule studies

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Yanhui; Chen, Danqi; Yue, Hongjun; French, Jarrod B.; Rufo, Joey; Benkovic, Stephen J.; Huang, Tony Jun

    2014-01-01

    Recent developments on various lab-on-a-chip techniques allow miniaturized and integrated devices to perform on-chip single-molecule studies. Fluidic-based platforms that utilize the unique microscale fluidic behavior are capable of conducting single-molecule experiments with high sensitivities and throughputs, while biomolecular systems can be studied on-chip using techniques such as DNA curtains, magnetic tweezers, and solid-state nanopores. The advances of these on-chip single-molecule techniques lead to next-generation lab-on-a-chip devices such as DNA transistors, and single-molecule real-time (SMRT) technology for rapid and low-cost whole genome DNA sequencing. In this Focus article, we will discuss some recent successes on developing lab-on-a-chip techniques for single-molecule studies and expound our thoughts on the near future of on-chip single-molecule studies. PMID:23670195

  14. High-Throughput Single-Molecule Studies of Protein-DNA Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Robison, Aaron D.; Finkelstein, Ilya J.

    2014-01-01

    Fluorescence and force-based single-molecule studies of protein-nucleic acid interactions continue to shed critical insights into many aspects of DNA and RNA processing. As single-molecule assays are inherently low-throughput, obtaining statistically relevant datasets remains a major challenge. Additionally, most fluorescence-based single-molecule particle-tracking assays are limited to observing fluorescent proteins that are in the low-nanomolar range, as spurious background signals predominate at higher fluorophore concentrations. These technical limitations have traditionally limited the types of questions that could be addressed via single-molecule methods. In this review, we describe new approaches for high-throughput and high-concentration single-molecule biochemical studies. We conclude with a discussion of outstanding challenges for the single-molecule biologist and how these challenges can be tackled to further approach the biochemical complexity of the cell. PMID:24859086

  15. Single-molecule enzyme kinetics in the presence of inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Saha, Soma; Sinha, Antara; Dua, Arti

    2012-07-28

    Recent studies in single-molecule enzyme kinetics reveal that the turnover statistics of a single enzyme is governed by the waiting time distribution that decays as mono-exponential at low substrate concentration and multi-exponential at high substrate concentration. The multi-exponentiality arises due to protein conformational fluctuations, which act on the time scale longer than or comparable to the catalytic reaction step, thereby inducing temporal fluctuations in the catalytic rate resulting in dynamic disorder. In this work, we study the turnover statistics of a single enzyme in the presence of inhibitors to show that the multi-exponentiality in the waiting time distribution can arise even when protein conformational fluctuations do not influence the catalytic rate. From the Michaelis-Menten mechanism of inhibited enzymes, we derive exact expressions for the waiting time distribution for competitive, uncompetitive, and mixed inhibitions to quantitatively show that the presence of inhibitors can induce dynamic disorder in all three modes of inhibitions resulting in temporal fluctuations in the reaction rate. In the presence of inhibitors, dynamic disorder arises due to transitions between active and inhibited states of enzymes, which occur on time scale longer than or comparable to the catalytic step. In this limit, the randomness parameter (dimensionless variance) is greater than unity indicating the presence of dynamic disorder in all three modes of inhibitions. In the opposite limit, when the time scale of the catalytic step is longer than the time scale of transitions between active and inhibited enzymatic states, the randomness parameter is unity, implying no dynamic disorder in the reaction pathway.

  16. Single-molecule fluorescence probes dynamics of barrier crossing.

    PubMed

    Chung, Hoi Sung; Eaton, William A

    2013-10-31

    Kramers developed the theory on how chemical reaction rates are influenced by the viscosity of the medium. At the viscosity of water, the kinetics of unimolecular reactions are described by diffusion of a Brownian particle over a free-energy barrier separating reactants and products. For reactions in solution this famous theory extended Eyring's transition state theory, and is widely applied in physics, chemistry and biology, including to reactions as complex as protein folding. Because the diffusion coefficient of Kramers' theory is determined by the dynamics in the sparsely populated region of the barrier top, its properties have not been directly measured for any molecular system. Here we show that the Kramers diffusion coefficient and free-energy barrier can be characterized by measuring the temperature- and viscosity-dependence of the transition path time for protein folding. The transition path is the small fraction of an equilibrium trajectory for a single molecule when the free-energy barrier separating two states is actually crossed. Its duration, the transition path time, can now be determined from photon trajectories for single protein molecules undergoing folding/unfolding transitions. Our finding of a long transition path time with an unusually small solvent viscosity dependence suggests that internal friction as well as solvent friction determine the Kramers diffusion coefficient for α-helical proteins, as opposed to a breakdown of his theory, which occurs for many small-molecule reactions. It is noteworthy that the new and fundamental information concerning Kramers' theory and the dynamics of barrier crossings obtained here come from experiments on a protein rather than a much simpler chemical or physical system.

  17. Novel Polymer Linkers for Single Molecule AFM Force Spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Tong, Zenghan; Mikheikin, Andrey; Krasnoslobodtsev, Alexey; Lv, Zhengjian; Lyubchenko, Yuri L.

    2013-01-01

    Flexible polymer linkers play an important role in various imaging and probing techniques that require surface immobilization, including atomic force microscopy (AFM). In AFM force spectroscopy, polymer linkers are necessary for the covalent attachment of molecules of interest to the AFM tip and the surface. The polymer linkers tether the molecules and provide their proper orientation in probing experiments. Additionally, the linkers separate specific interactions from nonspecific short-range adhesion and serve as a reference point for the quantitative analysis of single molecule probing events. In this report, we present our results on the synthesis and testing of a novel polymer linker and the identification of a number of potential applications for its use in AFM force spectroscopy experiments. The synthesis of the linker is based on the well-developed phosphoramidate (PA) chemistry that allows the routine synthesis of linkers with predetermined lengths and PA composition. These linkers are homogeneous in length and can be terminated with various functional groups. PA linkers with different functional groups were synthesized and tested in experimental systems utilizing different immobilization chemistries. We probed interactions between complementary DNA oligonucleotides; DNA and protein complexes formed by the site-specific binding protein SfiI; and interactions between amyloid peptide (Aβ42). The results of the AFM force spectroscopy experiments validated the feasibility of the proposed approach for the linker design and synthesis. Furthermore, the properties of the tether (length, functional groups) can be adjusted to meet the specific requirements for different force spectroscopy experiments and system characteristics, suggesting that it could be used for a large number of various applications. PMID:23624104

  18. Photo-activation of Single Molecule Magnet Behavior in a Manganese-based Complex.

    PubMed

    Fetoh, Ahmed; Cosquer, Goulven; Morimoto, Masakazu; Irie, Masahiro; El-Gammal, Ola; Abu El-Reash, Gaber; Breedlove, Brian K; Yamashita, Masahiro

    2016-01-01

    A major roadblock to fully realizing molecular electronic devices is the ability to control the properties of each molecule in the device. Herein we report the control of the magnetic properties of single-molecule magnets (SMMs), which can be used in memory devices, by using a photo-isomerizable diarthylenthene ligand. Photo-isomerization of the diarylethene ligand bridging two manganese salen complexes with visible light caused a significant change in the SMM behavior due to opening of the six-membered ring of diarylethene ligand, accompanied by reorganization of the entire molecule. The ring-opening activated the frequency-dependent magnetization of the complex. Our results are a major step towards the realization of molecular memory devices composed of SMMs because the SMM behaviour can be turned on and off simply by irradiating the molecule. PMID:27026506

  19. Novel double-decker phthalocyaninato terbium(III) single molecule magnets with stabilised redox states.

    PubMed

    Gonidec, Mathieu; Amabilino, David B; Veciana, Jaume

    2012-11-28

    Double-decker phthalocyanine lanthanide complexes are single molecule magnets (SMMs) presenting a thermally activated magnetic relaxation with relatively high effective barriers. For this reason they are potential candidates as components for data storage and spintronic devices. One of the disadvantages of these compounds is their redox instability: they are oxidized or reduced in the presence of mild oxidizing and reducing agents. To solve this issue, we designed, prepared and characterized new double-decker phthalocyanine based SMMs bearing electron withdrawing groups and therefore presenting an increased redox stability. In the present article, the synthesis and characterization of these novel compounds is presented and we demonstrate how the magnetic behavior of the complexes is virtually identical to that of the parent unsubstituted compounds.

  20. Photo-activation of Single Molecule Magnet Behavior in a Manganese-based Complex

    PubMed Central

    Fetoh, Ahmed; Cosquer, Goulven; Morimoto, Masakazu; Irie, Masahiro; El-Gammal, Ola; El-Reash, Gaber Abu; Breedlove, Brian K.; Yamashita, Masahiro

    2016-01-01

    A major roadblock to fully realizing molecular electronic devices is the ability to control the properties of each molecule in the device. Herein we report the control of the magnetic properties of single-molecule magnets (SMMs), which can be used in memory devices, by using a photo-isomerizable diarthylenthene ligand. Photo-isomerization of the diarylethene ligand bridging two manganese salen complexes with visible light caused a significant change in the SMM behavior due to opening of the six-membered ring of diarylethene ligand, accompanied by reorganization of the entire molecule. The ring-opening activated the frequency-dependent magnetization of the complex. Our results are a major step towards the realization of molecular memory devices composed of SMMs because the SMM behaviour can be turned on and off simply by irradiating the molecule. PMID:27026506

  1. Low Temperature Scanning Tunneling Spectroscopy of isolated Mn12-Ph Single Molecule Magnets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reaves, K.; Han, P.; Iwaya, K.; Hitosugi, T.; Packwood, D.; Katzgraber, H. G.; Zhao, H.; Dunbar, K. R.; Kim, K.; Teizer, W.

    2015-03-01

    We study Mn12O12(C6H5COO)16(H2O)4 (Mn12-Ph) single-molecule magnets on a Cu(111) surface using scanning tunneling microscopy and scanning tunneling spectroscopy at cryogenic temperatures (T < 6K). We report the observation of Mn12-Ph in isolation and in thin films, deposited through in situ vacuum spray deposition onto clean Cu(111). The tunneling current of isolated Mn12-Ph, normalized with respect to the Cu background, shows a strong bias voltage dependence within the molecular interior. The qualitative features of these I vs.V curves differ by spatial location in several intriguing ways (e.g. fixed junction impedance with increasing bias voltages). We explore these normalized I vs. V curves and present a phenomenological explanation for the observed behaviors, corresponding to the physical and electronic structure within the molecule. Funding from WPI-AIMR.

  2. Frequency domain Fourier transform THz-EPR on single molecule magnets using coherent synchrotron radiation.

    PubMed

    Schnegg, Alexander; Behrends, Jan; Lips, Klaus; Bittl, Robert; Holldack, Karsten

    2009-08-21

    Frequency domain Fourier transform THz electron paramagnetic resonance (FD-FT THz-EPR) based on coherent synchrotron radiation (CSR) is presented as a novel tool to ascertain very large zero field splittings in transition metal ion complexes. A description of the FD-FT THz-EPR at the BESSY II storage ring providing CSR in a frequency range from 5 cm(-1) up to 40 cm(-1) at external magnetic fields from -10 T to +10 T is given together with first measurements on the single molecule magnet Mn(12)Ac where we studied DeltaM(S) = +/-1 spin transition energies as a function of the external magnetic field and temperature.

  3. A Mononuclear Uranium(IV) Single-Molecule Magnet with an Azobenzene Radical Ligand.

    PubMed

    Antunes, Maria A; Coutinho, Joana T; Santos, Isabel C; Marçalo, Joaquim; Almeida, Manuel; Baldoví, José J; Pereira, Laura C J; Gaita-Ariño, Alejandro; Coronado, Eugenio

    2015-12-01

    A tetravalent uranium compound with a radical azobenzene ligand, namely, [{(SiMe2 NPh)3 -tacn}U(IV) (η(2) -N2 Ph2 (.) )] (2), was obtained by one-electron reduction of azobenzene by the trivalent uranium compound [U(III) {(SiMe2 NPh)3 -tacn}] (1). Compound 2 was characterized by single-crystal X-ray diffraction and (1) H NMR, IR, and UV/Vis/NIR spectroscopy. The magnetic properties of 2 and precursor 1 were studied by static magnetization and ac susceptibility measurements, which for the former revealed single-molecule magnet behaviour for the first time in a mononuclear U(IV) compound, whereas trivalent uranium compound 1 does not exhibit slow relaxation of the magnetization at low temperatures. A first approximation to the magnetic behaviour of these compounds was attempted by combining an effective electrostatic model with a phenomenological approach using the full single-ion Hamiltonian. PMID:26536849

  4. Monitoring Conformational Dynamics with Single-Molecule Fluorescence Energy Transfer: Applications in Nucleosome Remodeling

    PubMed Central

    Deindl, Sebastian; Zhuang, Xiaowei

    2016-01-01

    Due to its ability to track distance changes within individual molecules or molecular complexes on the nanometer scale and in real time, single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (single-molecule FRET) is a powerful tool to tackle a wide range of important biological questions. Using our recently developed single-molecule FRET assay to monitor nucleosome translocation as an illustrative example, we describe here in detail how to set up, carry out, and analyze single-molecule FRET experiments that provide time-dependent information on biomolecular processes. PMID:22929765

  5. Single-Molecule Tracking in Living Cells Using Single Quantum Dot Applications

    PubMed Central

    Baba, Koichi; Nishida, Kohji

    2012-01-01

    Revealing the behavior of single molecules in living cells is very useful for understanding cellular events. Quantum dot probes are particularly promising tools for revealing how biological events occur at the single molecule level both in vitro and in vivo. In this review, we will introduce how single quantum dot applications are used for single molecule tracking. We will discuss how single quantum dot tracking has been used in several examples of complex biological processes, including membrane dynamics, neuronal function, selective transport mechanisms of the nuclear pore complex, and in vivo real-time observation. We also briefly discuss the prospects for single molecule tracking using advanced probes. PMID:22896768

  6. Separation and counting of single molecules through nanofluidics, programmable electrophoresis, and nanoelectrode-gated tunneling and dielectric detection

    DOEpatents

    Lee, James W.; Thundat, Thomas G.

    2006-04-25

    An apparatus for carrying out the separation, detection, and/or counting of single molecules at nanometer scale. Molecular separation is achieved by driving single molecules through a microfluidic or nanofluidic medium using programmable and coordinated electric fields. In various embodiments, the fluidic medium is a strip of hydrophilic material on nonconductive hydrophobic surface, a trough produced by parallel strips of hydrophobic nonconductive material on a hydrophilic base, or a covered passageway produced by parallel strips of hydrophobic nonconductive material on a hydrophilic base together with a nonconductive cover on the parallel strips of hydrophobic nonconductive material. The molecules are detected and counted using nanoelectrode-gated electron tunneling methods, dielectric monitoring, and other methods.

  7. Ab Initio Modeling of Fe(II) Adsorption and Interfacial Electron Transfer at Goethite (α-FeOOH) Surfaces

    SciTech Connect

    Alexandrov, Vitali Y.; Rosso, Kevin M.

    2015-01-01

    Goethite (α-FeOOH) surfaces represent one of the most ubiquitous redox-active interfaces in the environment, playing an important role in biogeochemical metal cycling and contaminant residence in the subsurface. Fe(II)-catalyzed recrystallization of goethite is a fundamental process in this context, but the proposed Fe(II)aq-Fe(III)goethite electron and iron atom exchange mechanism of recrystallization remains poorly understood at the atomic level. We examine the adsorption of aqueous Fe(II) and subsequent interfacial electron transfer (ET) between adsorbed Fe(II) and structural Fe(III) at the (110) and (021) goethite surfaces using density functional theory calculations including Hubbard U corrections (DFT+U) aided by ab initio molecular dynamics simulations. We investigate various surface sites for the adsorption of Fe2+(H2O)6 in different coordination environments. Calculated energies for adsorbed complexes at both surfaces favor monodentate complexes with reduced 4- and 5-fold coordination over higher-dentate structures and 6- fold coordination. The hydrolysis of H2O ligands is observed for some pre-ET adsorbed Fe(II) configurations. ET from the adsorbed Fe(II) into the goethite lattice is calculated to be energetically uphill always, but simultaneous proton transfer from H2O ligands of the adsorbed complexes to the surface oxygen species stabilizes post-ET states. We find that surface defects such as oxygen vacancies near the adsorption site also can stabilize post-ET states, enabling the Fe(II)aq-Fe(III)goethite interfacial electron transfer reaction implied from experiments to proceed.

  8. Comparison of hydrolytic and non-hydrolytic atomic layer deposition chemistries: Interfacial electronic properties at alumina-silicon interfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marstell, Roderick J.; Strandwitz, Nicholas C.

    2015-11-01

    We report the differences in the passivation and electronic properties of aluminum oxide (Al2O3) deposited on silicon via traditional hydrolytic atomic layer deposition (ALD) and non-hydrolytic (NH) ALD chemistries. Traditional films were grown using trimethylaluminum (TMA) and water and NHALD films grown using TMA and isopropanol at 300 °C. Hydrolytically grown ALD films contain a smaller amount of fixed charge than NHALD films (oxide fixed charge Qf Traditional = -8.1 × 1011 cm-2 and Qf NHALD = -3.6 × 1012 cm-2), and a larger degree of chemical passivation than NHALD films (density of interface trap states, Dit Traditional = 5.4 × 1011 eV-1 cm-2 and Dit NHALD = 2.9 × 1012 eV-1 cm-2). Oxides grown with both chemistries were found to have a band gap of 7.1 eV. The conduction band offset was 3.21 eV for traditionally grown films and 3.38 eV for NHALD. The increased Dit for NHALD films may stem from carbon impurities in the oxide layer that are at and near the silicon surface, as evidenced by both the larger trap state time constant (τTraditional = 2.2 × 10-9 s and τNHALD = 1.7 × 10-7 s) and the larger carbon concentration. We have shown that the use of alcohol-based oxygen sources in NHALD chemistry can significantly affect the resulting interfacial electronic behavior presenting an additional parameter for understanding and controlling interfacial electronic properties at semiconductor-dielectric interfaces.

  9. Fabrication and interfacial electronic structure studies on polypyrrole/TiO2 nano hybrid systems for photovoltaic aspects.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Ganesan Mohan; Kawakita, Jin; Jayavel, Ramasamy

    2011-05-01

    The progress in studying the interfacial electronic structures of the developing new class of hybrid organic/inorganic material systems have envisaged a new dimension into the field of photovoltaics, which could be of great help in understanding the nature of charge transfer in them. In this regard, electropolymerization of pyrrole monomers have been carried out at room temperature on the surface of TiO2 working electrodes (assisted by UV radiations) and their interfacial electronic structure has been studied as a function of the applied photo anodic potentials. The formation of polypyrrole deposits has been ensured using FT-IR and Raman spectroscopy. Surface analysis of the hybrid matrix revealed the tendency of polymer molecules to cover up the spherical surface of TiO2 nanoparticles that could help in improving the light absorption rate. Signals (bands) corresponding to pyrrole molecules observed in the ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy measurements have been correlated with the polaronic states formed and identified to shift as a function of the applied photo anodic potentials, revealing the decrease in work function of the hybrid system to take place (confirmed using cyclic voltammetry measurements). The decreasing trend in the work function elucidates the adjustment in electronic structure of the system (hybrid materials possessing smaller work functions are generally preferred for photovoltaic studies). The aforementioned behavioural aspects have been reasoned with the increase in overpotential values for polarization, from the decrease in up-take rate of the anionic dopant, which increases the current density values, thereby modifying the conductivity of the systems.

  10. Influence of the electron-phonon interfacial conductance on the thermal transport at metal/dielectric interfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lombard, J.; Detcheverry, F.; Merabia, S.

    2015-01-01

    Thermal boundary conductance at a metal-dielectric interface is a quantity of prime importance for heat management at the nanoscale. While the boundary conductance is usually ascribed to the coupling between metal phonons and dielectric phonons, in this work we examine the influence of a direct coupling between the metal electrons and the dielectric phonons. The effect of electron-phonon processes is generally believed to be resistive and tends to decrease the overall thermal boundary conductance as compared to the phonon-phonon conductance σp. Here, we find that the effect of a direct electron-phonon interfacial coupling σe is to enhance the effective thermal conductance between the metal and the dielectric. Resistive effects turn out to be important only for thin films of metals that have a low electron-phonon coupling strength. Two approaches are explored to reach these conclusions. First, we present an analytical solution of the two-temperature model to compute the effective conductance which accounts for all the relevant energy channels, as a function of σe, σp and the electron-phonon coupling factor G. Second, we use numerical resolution to examine the influence of σe on two realistic cases: a gold film on silicon or silica substrates. We point out the implications for the interpretation of time-resolved thermoreflectance experiments.

  11. Influence of the electron-phonon interfacial conductance on the thermal transport at metal/dielectric interfaces.

    PubMed

    Lombard, J; Detcheverry, F; Merabia, S

    2015-01-14

    Thermal boundary conductance at a metal-dielectric interface is a quantity of prime importance for heat management at the nanoscale. While the boundary conductance is usually ascribed to the coupling between metal phonons and dielectric phonons, in this work we examine the influence of a direct coupling between the metal electrons and the dielectric phonons. The effect of electron-phonon processes is generally believed to be resistive and tends to decrease the overall thermal boundary conductance as compared to the phonon-phonon conductance σ(p). Here, we find that the effect of a direct electron-phonon interfacial coupling σ(e) is to enhance the effective thermal conductance between the metal and the dielectric. Resistive effects turn out to be important only for thin films of metals that have a low electron-phonon coupling strength. Two approaches are explored to reach these conclusions. First, we present an analytical solution of the two-temperature model to compute the effective conductance which accounts for all the relevant energy channels, as a function of σ(e), σ(p) and the electron-phonon coupling factor G. Second, we use numerical resolution to examine the influence of σ(e) on two realistic cases: a gold film on silicon or silica substrates. We point out the implications for the interpretation of time-resolved thermoreflectance experiments.

  12. Localization microscopy: mapping cellular dynamics with single molecules.

    PubMed

    Nelson, A J; Hess, S T

    2014-04-01

    Resolution describes the smallest details within a sample that can be recovered by a microscope lens system. For optical microscopes detecting visible light, diffraction limits the resolution to ∼200-250 nm. In contrast, localization measures the position of an isolated object using its image. Single fluorescent molecules can be localized with an uncertainty of a few tens of nanometres, and in some cases less than one nanometre. Superresolution fluorescence localization microscopy (SRFLM) images and localizes fluorescent molecules in a sample. By controlling the visibility of the fluorescent molecules with light, it is possible to cause a sparse subset of the tags to fluoresce and be spatially separated from each other. A movie is acquired with a camera, capturing images of many sets of visible fluorescent tags over a period of time. The movie is then analysed by a computer whereby all of the single molecules are independently measured, and their positions are recorded. When the coordinates of a sufficient number of molecules are collected, an image can be rendered by plotting the coordinates of the localized molecules. The spatial resolution of these rendered images can be better than 20 nm, roughly an order of magnitude better than the diffraction limited resolution. The invention of SRFLM has led to an explosion of related techniques. Through the use of specialized optics, the fluorescent signal can be split into multiple detection channels. These channels can capture additional information such as colour (emission wavelength), orientation and three-dimensional position of the detected molecules. Measurement of the colour of the detected fluorescence can allow researchers to distinguish multiple types of fluorescent tags and to study the interaction between multiple molecules of interest. Three-dimensional imaging and determination of molecular orientations offer insight into structural organization of the sample. SRFLM is compatible with living samples and

  13. Single molecule studies of DNA packaging by bacteriophages

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fuller, Derek Nathan

    The DNA packaging dynamics of bacteriophages φ29, gamma, and T4 were studied at the single molecule level using a dual trap optical tweezers. Also, a method for producing long DNA molecules by PCR for optical tweezers studies of protein DNA interactions is presented and thoroughly characterized. This DNA preparation technique provided DNA samples for the φ29 and T4 studies. In the studies of φ29, the role of charge was investigated by varying the ionic conditions of the packaging buffer. Ionic conditions in which the DNA charge was highly screened due to divalent and trivalent cations showed the lowest resistance to packaging of the DNA to high density. This confirmed the importance of counterions in shielding the DNA interstrand repulsion when packaged to high density. While the ionic nature of the packaging buffer had a strong effect on packaging velocities, there was no clear trend between the counterion-screened charge of the DNA and the maximum packaging velocity. The packaging studies of lambda and T4 served as systems for comparative studies with φ29. Each system showed similarities to the φ29 system and unique differences. Both the lambda and T4 packaging motors were capable of generating forces in excess of 50 pN and showed remarkably high processivity, similar to φ29. However, dynamic structural transitions were observed with lambda that are not observed with φ29. The packaging of the lambda genome showed capsid expansion at approximately 30 percent of the genome packaged and capsid rupture at 90 percent of the genome packaged in the absence of capsid stabilizing protein gpD. Unique to the T4 packaging motor, packaging dynamics showed a remarkable amount of variability in velocities. This variability was seen both within individual packaging phages and from one phage to the next. This is possibly due to different conformational states of the packaging machinery. Additionally, lambda and T4 had average packaging velocities under minimal load of 600

  14. Theoretical analysis of single molecule spectroscopy lineshapes of conjugated polymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Devi, Murali

    Conjugated Polymers(CPs) exhibit a wide range of highly tunable optical properties. Quantitative and detailed understanding of the nature of excitons responsible for such a rich optical behavior has significant implications for better utilization of CPs for more efficient plastic solar cells and other novel optoelectronic devices. In general, samples of CPs are plagued with substantial inhomogeneous broadening due to various sources of disorder. Single molecule emission spectroscopy (SMES) offers a unique opportunity to investigate the energetics and dynamics of excitons and their interactions with phonon modes. The major subject of the present thesis is to analyze and understand room temperature SMES lineshapes for a particular CP, called poly(2,5-di-(2'-ethylhexyloxy)-1,4-phenylenevinylene) (DEH-PPV). A minimal quantum mechanical model of a two-level system coupled to a Brownian oscillator bath is utilized. The main objective is to identify the set of model parameters best fitting a SMES lineshape for each of about 200 samples of DEH-PPV, from which new insight into the nature of exciton-bath coupling can be gained. This project also entails developing a reliable computational methodology for quantum mechanical modeling of spectral lineshapes in general. Well-known optimization techniques such as gradient descent, genetic algorithms, and heuristic searches have been tested, employing an L2 measure between theoretical and experimental lineshapes for guiding the optimization. However, all of these tend to result in theoretical lineshapes qualitatively different from experimental ones. This is attributed to the ruggedness of the parameter space and inadequateness of the L2 measure. On the other hand, when the dynamic reduction of the original parameter space to a 2-parameter space through feature searching and visualization of the search space paths using directed acyclic graphs(DAGs), the qualitative nature of the fitting improved significantly. For a more

  15. Calix[4]arene Based Single-Molecule Magnets

    SciTech Connect

    Karotsis, Georgios; Teat, Simon J.; Wernsdorfer, Wolfgang; Piligkos, Stergios; Dalgarno, Scott J.; Brechin, Euan K.

    2009-06-04

    Single-molecule magnets (SMMs) have been the subject of much interest in recent years because their molecular nature and inherent physical properties allow the crossover between classical and quantum physics to be observed. The macroscopic observation of quantum phenomena - tunneling between different spin states, quantum interference between tunnel paths - not only allows scientists to study quantum mechanical laws in great detail, but also provides model systems with which to investigate the possible implementation of spin-based solid state qubits and molecular spintronics. The isolation of small, simple SMMs is therefore an exciting prospect. To date almost all SMMs have been made via the self-assembly of 3d metal ions in the presence of bridging/chelating organic ligands. However, very recently an exciting new class of SMMs, based on 3d metal clusters (or single lanthanide ions) housed within polyoxometalates, has appeared. These types of molecule, in which the SMM is completely encapsulated within (or shrouded by) a 'protective' organic or inorganic sheath have much potential for design and manipulation: for example, for the removal of unwanted dipolar interactions, the introduction of redox activity, or to simply aid functionalization for surface grafting. Calix[4]arenes are cyclic (typically bowl-shaped) polyphenols that have been used extensively in the formation of versatile self-assembled supramolecular structures. Although many have been reported, p-{sup t}But-calix[4]arene and calix[4]arene (TBC4 and C4 respectively, Figure 1A) are frequently encountered due to (a) synthetic accessibility, and (b) vast potential for alteration at either the upper or lower rim of the macrocyclic framework. Within the field of supramolecular chemistry, TBC4 is well known for interesting polymorphic behavior and phase transformations within anti-parallel bi-layer arrays, while C4 often forms self-included trimers. The polyphenolic nature of calix[n]arenes (where n = 4

  16. Single-molecule studies of DNA dynamics and intermolecular forces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robertson, Rae Marie

    DNA molecules were used as a model system to investigate fundamental problems in polymer physics; namely, how molecular length, topology and concentration influence the dynamical properties of polymers. A set of DNA molecules suitable for polymer studies was prepared using molecular biology techniques. Video fluorescence microscopy and single-molecule tracking were used to determine self-diffusion coefficients of DNA molecules. Optical tweezers were used to measure the intermolecular forces confining entangled DNA molecules. Scaling of diffusion with molecular length was in agreement with the Zimm model for dilute solutions of linear and circular DNA, indicating that excluded volume effects are appreciable for both topologies. Scaling of diffusion with concentration was also determined for the four possible topological combinations of linear and circular molecules: linear DNA diffusing in a solution of linear DNA, linear DNA in circular DNA, circular in circular, and circular in linear. For lower concentrations molecular topology had little effect and scaling was in agreement with that of the Rouse model. As concentration was increased topology played a much larger role and scaling crossed over to that of the reptation model, predicted to describe the dynamics of entangled polymers. The notable exception was the strongly hindered diffusion observed for a circular molecule diffusing in an entangled linear solution, suggesting the importance of constraint release. Using a new experimental approach with optical tweezers, a tube-like field confining a single entangled molecule was measured, in accord with the key assumption of the reptation model. A time-dependent harmonic potential opposed displacement transverse to the molecular contour, and the force relaxations following displacement were composed of three distinct modes. A characteristic tube radius of the entangled solution was also determined, close to the classically predicted value. The dependence of the above

  17. Studies of Mn/ZnO (0001¯) Interfacial Formation and Electronic Properties with Synchrotron Radiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zou, C. W.; Xu, P. S.; Wu, Y. Y.; Sun, B.; Xu, F. Q.; Pan, H. B.; Yuan, H. T.; Du, X. L.

    2007-01-01

    The initial growth, interfacial reaction and Fermi level movement of Mn on the O-terminated Zn (000 1¯) surface have been investigated by using synchrotron radiation photoelectron spectroscopy (SRPES) and X-ray photoemission (XPS). Mn is found to be grown on the surface in the layer-by-layer (Frank-van der Merwe) mode and be quite stable on the O-terminated surface at room temperature. With increasing the coverage of Mn, a downward Fermi level movement in band structure measurement of SRPES is observed and the resultant Schottky Barrier Height (SBH) is calculated to be about 1.1eV. Annealing behavior of the interface is investigated and we find that annealing at 600 °C induces a pronounced Mn-Zn atoms exchange reaction at the interface.

  18. Condensation of two-dimensional oxide-interfacial charges into one-dimensional electron chains by the misfit-dislocation strain field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, C.-P.; Chu, M.-W.; Jeng, H. T.; Cheng, S.-L.; Lin, J. G.; Yang, J.-R.; Chen, C. H.

    2014-03-01

    The success of semiconductor technology is largely ascribed to controlled impacts of strains and defects on the two-dimensional interfacial charges. Interfacial charges also appear in oxide heterojunctions such as LaAlO3/SrTiO3 and (Nd0.35Sr0.65)MnO3/SrTiO3. How the localized strain field of one-dimensional misfit dislocations, defects resulting from the intrinsic misfit strains, would affect the extended oxide-interfacial charges is intriguing and remains unresolved. Here we show the atomic-scale observation of one-dimensional electron chains formed in (Nd0.35Sr0.65)MnO3/SrTiO3 by the condensation of characteristic two-dimensional interfacial charges into the strain field of periodically arrayed misfit dislocations, using chemical mapping and quantification by scanning transmission electron microscopy. The strain-relaxed inter-dislocation regions are readily charge depleted, otherwise decorated by the pristine charges, and the corresponding total-energy calculations unravel the undocumented charge-reservoir role played by the dislocation-strain field. This two-dimensional-to-one-dimensional electronic condensation represents a novel electronic-inhomogeneity mechanism at oxide interfaces and could stimulate further studies of one-dimensional electron density in oxide heterostructures.

  19. Interfacial electronic properties of the heterojunctions C{sub 60}/rubrene/Au and rubrene/C{sub 60}/Au

    SciTech Connect

    Cheng, Chiu-Ping; Chan, Yi-Wei; Hsueh, Chih-Feng; Pi, Tun-Wen

    2012-07-15

    Using synchrotron-radiation photoemission, we have studied the electronic structures of rubrene:C{sub 60} heterojunctions on Au substrates. The photoelectron spectra show that the interfacial properties at the C{sub 60}/rubrene/Au and rubrene/C{sub 60}/Au interfaces are asymmetric and do not follow the commutation rule. In the C{sub 60}/rubrene case, a gap state appearing in the initial deposition stage results from negative charges transferred from rubrene to C{sub 60}, while in the inverse deposition process, no strong chemical reaction could be found. A significant shift of the vacuum level induced by alignment of the charge neutrality levels of the two materials was observed in both cases. Furthermore, the charge transfer strongly enhances the dipole potential of the C{sub 60}/rubrene interface. The energy level diagrams show that the C{sub 60}-on-rubrene process has a superior number of advantages in the photovoltaic applications.

  20. Electrochemical detection of single molecules using abiotic nanopores having electrically tunable dimensions

    DOEpatents

    Sansinena, Jose-Maria; Redondo, Antonio; Olazabal, Virginia; Hoffbauer, Mark A.; Akhadov, Elshan A.

    2009-12-29

    A barrier structure for use in an electrochemical stochastic membrane sensor for single molecule detection. The sensor is based upon inorganic nanopores having electrically tunable dimensions. The inorganic nanopores are formed from inorganic materials and an electrically conductive polymer. Methods of making the barrier structure and sensing single molecules using the barrier structure are also described.

  1. Controlling orbital-selective Kondo effects in a single molecule through coordination chemistry

    SciTech Connect

    Tsukahara, Noriyuki; Kawai, Maki; Takagi, Noriaki; Minamitani, Emi; Kim, Yousoo

    2014-08-07

    Iron(II) phthalocyanine (FePc) molecule causes novel Kondo effects derived from the unique electronic structure of multi-spins and multi-orbitals when attached to Au(111). Two unpaired electrons in the d{sub z}{sup 2} and the degenerate dπ orbitals are screened stepwise, resulting in spin and spin+orbital Kondo effects, respectively. We investigated the impact on the Kondo effects of the coordination of CO and NO molecules to the Fe{sup 2+} ion as chemical stimuli by using scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and density functional theory calculations. The impacts of the two diatomic molecules are different from each other as a result of the different electronic configurations. The coordination of CO converts the spin state from triplet to singlet, and then the Kondo effects completely disappear. In contrast, an unpaired electron survives in the molecular orbital composed of Fe d{sub z}{sup 2} and NO 5σ and 2π* orbitals for the coordination of NO, causing a sharp Kondo resonance. The isotropic magnetic response of the peak indicates the origin is the spin Kondo effect. The diatomic molecules attached to the Fe{sup 2+} ion were easily detached by applying a pulsed voltage at the STM junction. These results demonstrate that the single molecule chemistry enables us to switch and control the spin and the many-body quantum states reversibly.

  2. Single Molecule Kinetics of ENTH Binding to Lipid Membranes

    SciTech Connect

    Rozovsky, Sharon; Forstner, Martin B.; Sondermann, Holger; Groves, Jay T.

    2012-04-03

    Transient recruitment of proteins to membranes is a fundamental mechanism by which the cell exerts spatial and temporal control over proteins’ localization and interactions. Thus, the specificity and the kinetics of peripheral proteins’ membrane residence are an attribute of their function. In this article, we describe the membrane interactions of the interfacial epsin N-terminal homology (ENTH) domain with its target lipid phosphatidylinositol (4,5)-bisphosphate (PtdIns(4,5)P2). The direct visualization and quantification of interactions of single ENTH molecules with supported lipid bilayers is achieved using total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy (TIRFM) with a time resolution of 13 ms. This enables the recording of the kinetic behavior of ENTH interacting with membranes with physiologically relevant concentrations of PtdIns(4,5)P2 despite the low effective binding affinity. Subsequent single fluorophore tracking permits us to build up distributions of residence times and to measure ENTH dissociation rates as a function of membrane composition. In addition, due to the high time resolution, we are able to resolve details of the motion of ENTH associated with a simple, homogeneous membrane. In this case ENTH’s diffusive transport appears to be the result of at least three different diffusion processes.

  3. Reversible gating of smart plasmonic molecular traps using thermoresponsive polymers for single-molecule detection

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Yuanhui; Soeriyadi, Alexander H.; Rosa, Lorenzo; Ng, Soon Hock; Bach, Udo; Justin Gooding, J.

    2015-01-01

    Single-molecule surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) has attracted increasing interest for chemical and biochemical sensing. Many conventional substrates have a broad distribution of SERS enhancements, which compromise reproducibility and result in slow response times for single-molecule detection. Here we report a smart plasmonic sensor that can reversibly trap a single molecule at hotspots for rapid single-molecule detection. The sensor was fabricated through electrostatic self-assembly of gold nanoparticles onto a gold/silica-coated silicon substrate, producing a high yield of uniformly distributed hotspots on the surface. The hotspots were isolated with a monolayer of a thermoresponsive polymer (poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)), which act as gates for molecular trapping at the hotspots. The sensor shows not only a good SERS reproducibility but also a capability to repetitively trap and release molecules for single-molecular sensing. The single-molecule sensitivity is experimentally verified using SERS spectral blinking and bianalyte methods. PMID:26549539

  4. Directional Raman scattering from single molecules in the feed gaps of optical antennas.

    PubMed

    Wang, Dongxing; Zhu, Wenqi; Best, Michael D; Camden, Jon P; Crozier, Kenneth B

    2013-05-01

    Controlling light from single emitters is an overarching theme of nano-optics. Antennas are routinely used to modify the angular emission patterns of radio wave sources. "Optical antennas" translate these principles to visible and infrared wavelengths and have been recently used to modify fluorescence from single quantum dots and single molecules. Understanding the properties of single molecules, however, would be advanced were one able to observe their vibrational spectra through Raman scattering in a very reproducible manner but it is a hugely challenging task, as Raman scattering cross sections are very weak. Here we measure for the first time the highly directional emission patterns of Raman scattering from single molecules in the feed gaps of optical antennas fabricated on a chip. More than a thousand single molecule events are observed, revealing that an unprecedented near-unity fraction of optical antennas have single molecule sensitivity.

  5. Reversible gating of smart plasmonic molecular traps using thermoresponsive polymers for single-molecule detection.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Yuanhui; Soeriyadi, Alexander H; Rosa, Lorenzo; Ng, Soon Hock; Bach, Udo; Justin Gooding, J

    2015-01-01

    Single-molecule surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) has attracted increasing interest for chemical and biochemical sensing. Many conventional substrates have a broad distribution of SERS enhancements, which compromise reproducibility and result in slow response times for single-molecule detection. Here we report a smart plasmonic sensor that can reversibly trap a single molecule at hotspots for rapid single-molecule detection. The sensor was fabricated through electrostatic self-assembly of gold nanoparticles onto a gold/silica-coated silicon substrate, producing a high yield of uniformly distributed hotspots on the surface. The hotspots were isolated with a monolayer of a thermoresponsive polymer (poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)), which act as gates for molecular trapping at the hotspots. The sensor shows not only a good SERS reproducibility but also a capability to repetitively trap and release molecules for single-molecular sensing. The single-molecule sensitivity is experimentally verified using SERS spectral blinking and bianalyte methods. PMID:26549539

  6. Integration of biological ion channels onto optically addressable micro-fluidic electrode arrays for single molecule characterization.

    SciTech Connect

    Brozik, Susan Marie; Frink, Laura J. Douglas; Bachand, George David; Keller, David J.; Patrick, Elizabeth L.; Marshall, Jason A.; Ortiz, Theodore P.; Meyer, Lauren A.; Davis, Ryan W.; Brozik, James A.; Flemming, Jeb Hunter

    2004-12-01

    The challenge of modeling the organization and function of biological membranes on a solid support has received considerable attention in recent years, primarily driven by potential applications in biosensor design. Affinity-based biosensors show great promise for extremely sensitive detection of BW agents and toxins. Receptor molecules have been successfully incorporated into phospholipid bilayers supported on sensing platforms. However, a collective body of data detailing a mechanistic understanding of membrane processes involved in receptor-substrate interactions and the competition between localized perturbations and delocalized responses resulting in reorganization of transmembrane protein structure, has yet to be produced. This report describes a systematic procedure to develop detailed correlation between (recognition-induced) protein restructuring and function of a ligand gated ion channel by combining single molecule fluorescence spectroscopy and single channel current recordings. This document is divided into three sections: (1) reported are the thermodynamics and diffusion properties of gramicidin using single molecule fluorescence imaging and (2) preliminary work on the 5HT{sub 3} serotonin receptor. Thirdly, we describe the design and fabrication of a miniaturized platform using the concepts of these two technologies (spectroscopic and single channel electrochemical techniques) for single molecule analysis, with a longer term goal of using the physical and electronic changes caused by a specific molecular recognition event as a transduction pathway in affinity based biosensors for biotoxin detection.

  7. Solid-phase single molecule biosensing using dual-color colocalization of fluorescent quantum dot nanoprobes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Jianbo; Yang, Xiaohai; Wang, Kemin; Wang, Qing; Liu, Wei; Wang, Dong

    2013-10-01

    the QD560-TBA I substrate. Thus, the presence of the target thrombin can be determined based on fluorescent colocalization measurements of the nanoassemblies, without target amplification or probe separation. The detection limit of this assay reached 0.8 pM. This fluorescent colocalization assay has enabled single molecule recognition in a separation-free detection format, and can serve as a sensitive biosensing platform that greatly suppresses the nonspecific adsorption false-positive signal. This method can be extended to other areas such as multiplexed immunoassay, single cell analysis, and real time biomolecule interaction studies. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available: Absorbance and fluorescence spectra of quantum dot nanoprobes, electrophoresis analysis, and experimental setup for fluorescence imaging with dual channels. See DOI: 10.1039/c3nr03291d

  8. "Butterfly effect" in CuO/graphene composite nanosheets: a small interfacial adjustment triggers big changes in electronic structure and Li-ion storage performance.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xiaoting; Zhou, Jisheng; Song, Huaihe; Chen, Xiaohong; Fedoseeva, Yu V; Okotrub, A V; Bulusheva, L G

    2014-10-01

    Generally speaking, excellent electrochemical performance of metal oxide/graphene nanosheets (GNSs) composite is attributed to the interfacial interaction (or "synergistic effect") between constituents. However, there are no any direct observations on how the electronic structure is changed and how the properties of Li-ion storage are affected by adjusting the interfacial interaction, despite of limited investigations on the possible nature of binding between GNSs and metal oxide. In this paper, CuO nanosheets/GNSs composites with a little Cu2O (ca. 4 wt %) were utilized as an interesting model to illustrate directly the changes of interfacial nature as well as its deep influence on the electronic structure and Li-ion storage performance of composite. The interfacial adjustment was successfully fulfilled by removal of Cu2O in the composite by NH3·H2O. Formation of Cu-O-C bonds on interfaces both between CuO and GNSs, and Cu2O and GNSs in the original CuO/GNSs composites was detected. The small interfacial alteration by removal of the little Cu2O results in the obvious changes in electronic structure, such as weakening of covalent Cu-O-C interfacial interaction and recovery of π bonds in graphene, and simultaneously leads to variations in electrochemical performance of composites, including a 21% increase of reversible capacity, degradation of cyclic stability and rate-performance, and obvious increase of charge-transfer resistance, which can be called a "butterfly effect" in graphene-based metal oxide composites. These interesting phenomena could be helpful to design not only the high-performance graphene/metal oxide anode materials but also various advanced graphene-based composites used in the other fields such as sensors, catalysis, fuel cells, solar cells, etc.

  9. "Butterfly effect" in CuO/graphene composite nanosheets: a small interfacial adjustment triggers big changes in electronic structure and Li-ion storage performance.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xiaoting; Zhou, Jisheng; Song, Huaihe; Chen, Xiaohong; Fedoseeva, Yu V; Okotrub, A V; Bulusheva, L G

    2014-10-01

    Generally speaking, excellent electrochemical performance of metal oxide/graphene nanosheets (GNSs) composite is attributed to the interfacial interaction (or "synergistic effect") between constituents. However, there are no any direct observations on how the electronic structure is changed and how the properties of Li-ion storage are affected by adjusting the interfacial interaction, despite of limited investigations on the possible nature of binding between GNSs and metal oxide. In this paper, CuO nanosheets/GNSs composites with a little Cu2O (ca. 4 wt %) were utilized as an interesting model to illustrate directly the changes of interfacial nature as well as its deep influence on the electronic structure and Li-ion storage performance of composite. The interfacial adjustment was successfully fulfilled by removal of Cu2O in the composite by NH3·H2O. Formation of Cu-O-C bonds on interfaces both between CuO and GNSs, and Cu2O and GNSs in the original CuO/GNSs composites was detected. The small interfacial alteration by removal of the little Cu2O results in the obvious changes in electronic structure, such as weakening of covalent Cu-O-C interfacial interaction and recovery of π bonds in graphene, and simultaneously leads to variations in electrochemical performance of composites, including a 21% increase of reversible capacity, degradation of cyclic stability and rate-performance, and obvious increase of charge-transfer resistance, which can be called a "butterfly effect" in graphene-based metal oxide composites. These interesting phenomena could be helpful to design not only the high-performance graphene/metal oxide anode materials but also various advanced graphene-based composites used in the other fields such as sensors, catalysis, fuel cells, solar cells, etc. PMID:25226227

  10. Self-Doping, O2-Stable, n-Type Interfacial Layer for Organic Electronics

    SciTech Connect

    Reilly, T. H. III; Hains, A. W.; Chen, H. Y.; Gregg, B. A.

    2012-04-01

    Solid films of a water-soluble dicationic perylene diimide salt, perylene bis(2-ethyltrimethylammonium hydroxide imide), Petma{sup +}OH{sup -}, are strongly doped n-type by dehydration and reversibly de-doped by hydration. The hydrated films consist almost entirely of the neutral perylene diimide, PDI, while the dehydrated films contain {approx}50% PDI anions. The conductivity increases by five orders of magnitude upon dehydration, probably limited by film roughness, while the work function decreases by 0.74 V, consistent with an n-type doping density increase of {approx}12 orders of magnitude. Remarkably, the PDI anions are stable in dry air up to 120 C. The work function of the doped film, {phi} (3.96 V vs. vacuum), is unusually negative for an O{sub 2}-stable contact. Petma{sup +} OH{sup -} is also characterized as an interfacial layer, IFL, in two different types of organic photovoltaic cells. Results are comparable to state of the art cesium carbonate IFLs, but may improve if film morphology can be better controlled. The films are stable and reversible over many months in air and light. The mechanism of this unusual self-doping process may involve the change in relative potentials of the ions in the film caused by their deshielding and compaction as water is removed, leading to charge transfer when dry.

  11. Single-molecule spectroscopy of amino acids and peptides by recognition tunnelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Yanan; Ashcroft, Brian; Zhang, Peiming; Liu, Hao; Sen, Suman; Song, Weisi; Im, Jongone; Gyarfas, Brett; Manna, Saikat; Biswas, Sovan; Borges, Chad; Lindsay, Stuart

    2014-06-01

    The human proteome has millions of protein variants due to alternative RNA splicing and post-translational modifications, and variants that are related to diseases are frequently present in minute concentrations. For DNA and RNA, low concentrations can be amplified using the polymerase chain reaction, but there is no such reaction for proteins. Therefore, the development of single-molecule protein sequencing is a critical step in the search for protein biomarkers. Here, we show that single amino acids can be identified by trapping the molecules between two electrodes that are coated with a layer of recognition molecules, then measuring the electron tunnelling current across the junction. A given molecule can bind in more than one way in the junction, and we therefore use a machine-learning algorithm to distinguish between the sets of electronic `fingerprints' associated with each binding motif. With this recognition tunnelling technique, we are able to identify D and L enantiomers, a methylated amino acid, isobaric isomers and short peptides. The results suggest that direct electronic sequencing of single proteins could be possible by sequentially measuring the products of processive exopeptidase digestion, or by using a molecular motor to pull proteins through a tunnel junction integrated with a nanopore.

  12. Bilayer of Terbium Double-Decker Single-Molecule Magnets

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    We report a low-temperature scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy study of the structural and electronic properties of a bilayer of terbium double-decker (bis(phthalocyaninato)terbium(III), TbPc2) molecules on Au(111) at 5 K. The TbPc2 molecules are found to adsorb flat on top of a first compact TbPc2 monolayer on Au(111), forming a square-like packing similar to the underlying first layer. Their frontier-orbital electronic structure, measured by tunneling conductance spectroscopy, clearly differs from that of the underlying first monolayer. Our results of second-layer molecules indicate the absence of, both, hybrid molecule–substrate electronic states close to the Fermi level and a zero-bias Kondo resonance. We attribute these findings to a decreased electronic coupling with the Au(111) substrate. PMID:27390613

  13. Single-molecule surface studies of fibrinogen and DNA on semiconductors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kong, Xianhua

    Understanding of protein adsorption onto non-biological substrates is of fundamental interest in science, but also has great potential technological applications in medical devices and biosensors. This study explores the non-specific interaction, at the single molecule level, of a blood protein and DNA with semiconductor surfaces through the use of a custom built, non rastering electron emission microscope and a scanning probe microscope. The specifics and history of electron emission are described as well as the equipment used in this study. The protein examined in this study is human plasma fibrinogen, which plays an important role in haemostatis and thrombosis, and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is also studied. A novel technique for determining the photothreshold of biomolecules on single molecule level is developed and applied to fibrinogen molecules adsorbed on oxidized silicon surfaces, using photo-electron emission microscopy (PEEM). Three theoretical models are employed and compared to analyze the experimental photothreshold data. The non-specific adsorption of human plasma fibrinogen on oxidized p- and n- type silicon (100) surfaces is investigated to characterize both hydrophobic interactions and electrostatic forces. The experimental results indicate that hydrophobic interactions are one of the driving forces for protein adsorption and the electrostatic interactions also play a role in the height of the fibrinogen molecules adsorbed on the surface. PEEM images establish a photo threshold of 5.0 +/- 0.2 eV for fibrinogen on both n-type and p-type Si (100) surfaces. We suggest that the photothreshold results from surface state associated Fermi level (EF) pinning and there exists negative charge transfer from the adsorbed fibrinogen onto the p-type silicon substrates, while on n-type silicon substrates negative charge is transferred in the opposite direction. The adsorption of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) on mica and silicon is studied in liquid and ambient

  14. Metal/dielectric thermal interfacial transport considering cross-interface electron-phonon coupling: Theory, two-temperature molecular dynamics, and thermal circuit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Zexi; Wang, Yan; Ruan, Xiulin

    2016-02-01

    The standard two-temperature equations for electron-phonon coupled thermal transport across metal/nonmetal interfaces are modified to include the possible coupling between metal electrons with substrate phonons. The previous two-temperature molecular dynamics (TT-MD) approach is then extended to solve these equations numerically at the atomic scale, and the method is demonstrated using Cu/Si interface as an example. A key parameter in TT-MD is the nonlocal coupling distance of metal electrons and nonmetal phonons, and here we use two different approximations. The first is based on Overhauser's "joint-modes" concept, while we use an interfacial reconstruction region as the length scale of joint region rather than the phonon mean-free path as in Overhauser's original model. In this region, the metal electrons can couple to the joint phonon modes. The second approximation is the "phonon wavelength" concept where electrons couple to phonons nonlocally within the range of one phonon wavelength. Compared with the original TT-MD, including the cross-interface electron-phonon coupling can slightly reduce the total thermal boundary resistance. Whether the electron-phonon coupling within the metal block is nonlocal or not does not make an obvious difference in the heat transfer process. Based on the temperature profiles from TT-MD, we construct a new mixed series-parallel thermal circuit. We show that such a thermal circuit is essential for understanding metal/nonmetal interfacial transport, while calculating a single resistance without solving temperature profiles as done in most previous studies is generally incomplete. As a comparison, the simple series circuit that neglects the cross-interface electron-phonon coupling could overestimate the interfacial resistance, while the simple parallel circuit in the original Overhauser's model underestimates the total interfacial resistance.

  15. Versatile electron-collecting interfacial layer by in situ growth of silver nanoparticles in nonconjugated polyelectrolyte aqueous solution for polymer solar cells.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Kai; Chen, Lie; Chen, Yiwang

    2014-10-01

    Novel PEIE-Ag composites by in situ growth of silver nanoparticles in poly(ethylenimine)-ethoxylated (PEIE) aqueous solution are explored as an efficient interfacial layer for improving inverted polymer solar cells (PSCs) performance. The hybrid PEIE-Ag interfacial material is simple to fabricate only via ultraviolet irradiation with good water-solubility and unique film formation. The generated Ag nanoparticles can anchor in the PEIE polymer chains to form a conductive continuous interpenetrating network structure. Combining of the advantages of PEIE and Ag nanoparticles, the PEIE-Ag shows enhanced charge transport, electron selective and collection, and improved light-harvesting, mainly due to the surface plasmon resonance effect, better energy alignment induced by the formation of ideal dipole layer, as well as the improved conductivity. These distinguished interfacial properties result in the power conversion efficiency of inverted PSCs based on poly[4,8-bis(2-ethyl-hexyl-thiophene-5-yl)-benzo[1,2-b:4,5-b]dithiophene-2,6-diyl]-alt-[2-(2-ethyl-hexanoyl)-thieno[3,4-b]thiophen-4,6-diyl] (PBDTTT-C-T) and [6,6]-phenyl C71-butyric acid methyl ester (PC71BM) photoactive layer substantially improved up to 7.66% from 6.11%. Moreover, the device performance is insensitively dependent on the thickness of the PEIE-Ag interfacial layer, broadening the thicknesses selection window for interfacial materials. These results demonstrate that PEIE-Ag is a potential interfacial material compatible with roll-to-roll techniques and suitable for printed electronic devices. PMID:25207753

  16. Versatile electron-collecting interfacial layer by in situ growth of silver nanoparticles in nonconjugated polyelectrolyte aqueous solution for polymer solar cells.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Kai; Chen, Lie; Chen, Yiwang

    2014-10-01

    Novel PEIE-Ag composites by in situ growth of silver nanoparticles in poly(ethylenimine)-ethoxylated (PEIE) aqueous solution are explored as an efficient interfacial layer for improving inverted polymer solar cells (PSCs) performance. The hybrid PEIE-Ag interfacial material is simple to fabricate only via ultraviolet irradiation with good water-solubility and unique film formation. The generated Ag nanoparticles can anchor in the PEIE polymer chains to form a conductive continuous interpenetrating network structure. Combining of the advantages of PEIE and Ag nanoparticles, the PEIE-Ag shows enhanced charge transport, electron selective and collection, and improved light-harvesting, mainly due to the surface plasmon resonance effect, better energy alignment induced by the formation of ideal dipole layer, as well as the improved conductivity. These distinguished interfacial properties result in the power conversion efficiency of inverted PSCs based on poly[4,8-bis(2-ethyl-hexyl-thiophene-5-yl)-benzo[1,2-b:4,5-b]dithiophene-2,6-diyl]-alt-[2-(2-ethyl-hexanoyl)-thieno[3,4-b]thiophen-4,6-diyl] (PBDTTT-C-T) and [6,6]-phenyl C71-butyric acid methyl ester (PC71BM) photoactive layer substantially improved up to 7.66% from 6.11%. Moreover, the device performance is insensitively dependent on the thickness of the PEIE-Ag interfacial layer, broadening the thicknesses selection window for interfacial materials. These results demonstrate that PEIE-Ag is a potential interfacial material compatible with roll-to-roll techniques and suitable for printed electronic devices.

  17. Comparison of hydrolytic and non-hydrolytic atomic layer deposition chemistries: Interfacial electronic properties at alumina-silicon interfaces

    SciTech Connect

    Marstell, Roderick J.; Strandwitz, Nicholas C.

    2015-11-14

    We report the differences in the passivation and electronic properties of aluminum oxide (Al{sub 2}O{sub 3}) deposited on silicon via traditional hydrolytic atomic layer deposition (ALD) and non-hydrolytic (NH) ALD chemistries. Traditional films were grown using trimethylaluminum (TMA) and water and NHALD films grown using TMA and isopropanol at 300 °C. Hydrolytically grown ALD films contain a smaller amount of fixed charge than NHALD films (oxide fixed charge Q{sub f} {sub Traditional} = −8.1 × 10{sup 11 }cm{sup −2} and Q{sub f} {sub NHALD} = −3.6 × 10{sup 12 }cm{sup −2}), and a larger degree of chemical passivation than NHALD films (density of interface trap states, D{sub it} {sub Traditional} = 5.4 × 10{sup 11 }eV{sup −1 }cm{sup −2} and D{sub it} {sub NHALD} = 2.9 × 10{sup 12 }eV{sup −1 }cm{sup −2}). Oxides grown with both chemistries were found to have a band gap of 7.1 eV. The conduction band offset was 3.21 eV for traditionally grown films and 3.38 eV for NHALD. The increased D{sub it} for NHALD films may stem from carbon impurities in the oxide layer that are at and near the silicon surface, as evidenced by both the larger trap state time constant (τ{sub Traditional} = 2.2 × 10{sup −9} s and τ{sub NHALD} = 1.7 × 10{sup −7} s) and the larger carbon concentration. We have shown that the use of alcohol-based oxygen sources in NHALD chemistry can significantly affect the resulting interfacial electronic behavior presenting an additional parameter for understanding and controlling interfacial electronic properties at semiconductor-dielectric interfaces.

  18. Surface Chemically Switchable Ultraviolet Luminescence from Interfacial Two-Dimensional Electron Gas.

    PubMed

    Islam, Mohammad A; Saldana-Greco, Diomedes; Gu, Zongquan; Wang, Fenggong; Breckenfeld, Eric; Lei, Qingyu; Xu, Ruijuan; Hawley, Christopher J; Xi, X X; Martin, Lane W; Rappe, Andrew M; Spanier, Jonathan E

    2016-01-13

    We report intense, narrow line-width, surface chemisorption-activated and reversible ultraviolet (UV) photoluminescence from radiative recombination of the two-dimensional electron gas (2DEG) with photoexcited holes at LaAlO3/SrTiO3. The switchable luminescence arises from an electron transfer-driven modification of the electronic structure via H-chemisorption onto the AlO2-terminated surface of LaAlO3, at least 2 nm away from the interface. The control of the onset of emission and its intensity are functionalities that go beyond the luminescence of compound semiconductor quantum wells. Connections between reversible chemisorption, fast electron transfer, and quantum-well luminescence suggest a new model for surface chemically reconfigurable solid-state UV optoelectronics and molecular sensing. PMID:26675987

  19. Do-it-yourself guide: How to use the modern single molecule toolkit

    PubMed Central

    Walter, Nils G.; Huang, Cheng-Yen; Manzo, Anthony J.; Sobhy, Mohamed A.

    2008-01-01

    Single molecule microscopy has evolved into the ultimate-sensitivity toolkit to study systems from small molecules to living cells, with the prospect of revolutionizing the modern biosciences. Here we survey the current state-of-the-art in single molecule tools including fluorescence spectroscopy, tethered particle microscopy, optical and magnetic tweezers, and atomic force microscopy. Our review seeks to guide the biological scientist in choosing the right approach from the available single molecule toolkit for applications ranging as far as structural biology, enzymology, nanotechnology, and systems biology. PMID:18511916

  20. Ultra high-throughput single molecule spectroscopy with a 1024 pixel SPAD

    PubMed Central

    Colyer, Ryan A.; Scalia, Giuseppe; Villa, Federica A.; Guerrieri, Fabrizio; Tisa, Simone; Zappa, Franco; Cova, Sergio; Weiss, Shimon; Michalet, Xavier

    2013-01-01

    Single-molecule spectroscopy is a powerful approach to measuring molecular properties such as size, brightness, conformation, and binding constants. Due to the low concentrations in the single-molecule regime, measurements with good statistical accuracy require long acquisition times. Previously we showed a factor of 8 improvement in acquisition speed using a custom-CMOS 8x1 SPAD array. Here we present preliminary results with a 64X improvement in throughput obtained using a liquid crystal on silicon spatial light modulator (LCOS-SLM) and a novel standard CMOS 1024 pixel SPAD array, opening the way to truly high-throughput single-molecule spectroscopy. PMID:24386535