Delphine Bouilly, Jason Hon, Nathan S. Daly, Scott Trocchia, Sefi Vernick, Jaeeun Yu, Steven Warren, Ying Wu, Ruben L. Gonzalez, Jr., Kenneth L. Shepard, and Colin Nuckolls Single-Molecule Reaction Chemistry in Patterned Nanowells NanoLetters DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.6b01657

Abstract

A new approach to synthetic chemistry is performed in ultraminiaturized, nanofabricated reaction chambers. Using lithographically defined nanowells, we achieve single-point covalent chemistry on hundreds of individual carbon nanotube transistors, providing robust statistics and unprecedented spatial resolution in adduct position. Each device acts as a sensor to detect, in real-time and through quantized changes in conductance, single-point functionalization of the nanotube as well as consecutive chemical reactions, molecular interactions, and molecular conformational changes occurring on the resulting single-molecule probe. In particular, we use a set of sequential bioconjugation reactions to tether a single-strand of DNA to the device and record its repeated, reversible folding into a G-quadruplex structure. The stable covalent tether allows us to measure the same molecule in different solutions, revealing the characteristic increased stability of the G-quadruplex structure in the presence of potassium ions (K+) versus sodium ions (Na+). Nanowell-confined reaction chemistry on carbon nanotube devices offers a versatile method to isolate and monitor individual molecules during successive chemical reactions over an extended period of time.