Second harmonic generation (SHG) is used to study oligonucleotides at aqueous/solid interfaces for the first time. Detailed thermodynamic state information for interfacial DNA single strands, namely, the interfacial charge density, the interfacial potential, and the change in the interfacial energy density, is obtained. The phosphate groups on the DNA backbone serve as intrinsic labels that do not require DNA modification other than surface attachment. This approach is broadly applicable for the investigation of DNA during its interaction with biological targets, as well as charged biopolymers in general, and has important implications for predicting and controlling macromolecular interactions, improving biodiagnostics, and understanding life processes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry