On the structure and desorption dynamics of DNA bases adsorbed on gold: A temperature-programmed study

Mattias Östblom, Bo Liedberg*, Linette M. Demers, Chad A. Mirkin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

128 Scopus citations


The structure and desorption dynamics of mono- and multilayer samples of adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine on polycrystalline gold thin films are studied using temperature-programmed desorption-infrared reflection absorption spectroscopy (TPD-IRAS) and temperature-programmed desorption-mass spectroscopy (TPD-MS). It is shown that the pyrimidines, adenine and guanine, adsorb to gold in a complex manner and that both adhesive (adenine) and cohesive (guanine) interactions contribute the apparent binding energies to the substrate surface. Adenine displays at least two adsorption sites, including a high-energy site (210°C, ∼136 kj/mol), wherein the molecule coordinates to the gold substrate via the NH 2 group in an sp 3-like, strongly perturbed, nonplanar configuration. The purines, cytosine and thymine, display a less complicated adsorption/desorption behavior. The desorption energy for cytosine (160°C, ∼122 kJ/mol) is similar to those obtained for adenine and guanine, but desorption occurs from a single site of dispersed, nonaggregated cytosine. Thymine desorbs also from a single site but at a significantly lower energy (100°C, ∼104 kJ/mol). Infrared data reveal that the monolayer architectures discussed herein are structurally very different from those observed for the bases in the bulk crystalline state. It is also evident that both pyrimidines and purines adsorb on gold with the plane of the molecule in a nonparallel orientation with respect to the substrate surface. The results of this work are discussed in the context of improving the understanding of the design of capturing oligonucleotides or DNA strands for bioanalytical applications, in particular, for gold nanoparticle-based assays.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15150-15160
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number31
StatePublished - Aug 11 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'On the structure and desorption dynamics of DNA bases adsorbed on gold: A temperature-programmed study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this