Local piezoresponse and polarization switching in nucleobase thymine microcrystals

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Title: Local piezoresponse and polarization switching in nucleobase thymine microcrystals
Authors: Bdikin, Igor
Heredia, Alejandro
Neumayer, Sabine M.
Rodriguez, Brian J.
et al.
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/7195
Date: 2015
Abstract: Thymine (2-oxy-4-oxy-5 methyl pyrimidine) is one of the four nucleobases of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). In the DNA molecule, thymine binds to adenine via two hydrogen bonds, thus stabilizing the nucleic acid structure and is involved in pairing and replication. Here, we show that synthetic thymine microcrystals grown from the solution exhibit local piezoelectricity and apparent ferroelectricity, as evidenced by nanoscale electromechanical measurements via Piezoresponse Force Microscopy. Our experimental results demonstrate significant electromechanical activity and polarization switchability of thymine, thus opening a pathway for piezoelectric and ferroelectric-based applications of thymine and, perhaps, of other DNA nucleobase materials. The results are supported by molecular modeling of polarization switching under an external electric field.
Funding Details: European Commission - Seventh Framework Programme (FP7)
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: American Institute of Physics
Copyright (published version): 2015 AIP Publishing LLC
Keywords: Polarization;Atomic force microscopy;Piezoelectric fields;DNA;Piezoelectric materials
DOI: 10.1063/1.4927806
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Conway Institute Research Collection
Physics Research Collection

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