Indexed on: 13 Jul '13Published on: 13 Jul '13Published in: Physics - Materials Science
Structural and functional information encoded in DNA combined with unique properties of nanomaterials could be of use for the construction of novel biocomputational circuits and intelligent biomedical nanodevices. However, at present their practical applications are still limited by either low reproducibility of fabrication, modest sensitivity, or complicated handling procedures. Here, we demonstrate the construction of label-free and switchable molecular logic gates that use specific conformation modulation of a guanine- and thymine- rich DNA, while the optical readout is enabled by the tunable alphabetical metamaterials, which serve as a substrate for surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (MetaSERS). By computational and experimental investigations, we present a comprehensive solution to tailor the plasmonic responses of MetaSERS with respect to the metamaterial geometry, excitation energy, and polarization. Our tunable MetaSERS-based DNA logic is simple to operate, highly reproducible, and can be stimulated by ultra-low concentration of the external inputs, enabling an extremely sensitive detection of mercury ions.