Efficient Long-Range, Directional Energy Transfer through DNAlated Dye Aggregates

Xu Zhou, Sarthak Mandal, Shuoxing Jiang, Su Lin, Jianzhong Yang, Yan Liu, David G. Whitten, Neal W. Woodbury, Hao Yan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


The benzothiazole cyanine dye K21 forms dye aggregates on double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) templates. These aggregates exhibit a red-shifted absorption band, enhanced fluorescence emission, and an increased fluorescence lifetime, all indicating strong excitonic coupling among the dye molecules. K21 aggregate formation on dsDNA is only weakly sequence dependent, providing a flexible approach that is adaptable to many different DNA nanostructures. Donor (D)-bridge (B)-acceptor (A) complexes consisting of Alexa Fluor 350 as the donor, a 30 bp (9.7 nm) DNA templated K21 aggregate as the bridge, and Alexa Fluor 555 as the acceptor show an overall donor to acceptor energy transfer efficiency of 60%, with the loss of excitation energy being almost exclusively at the donor-bridge junction (63%). There was almost no excitation energy loss due to transfer through the aggregate bridge, and the transfer efficiency from the aggregate to the acceptor was about 96%. By comparing the energy transfer in templated aggregates at several lengths up to 32 nm, the loss of energy per nanometer through the K21 aggregate bridge was determined to be <1%, suggesting that it should be possible to construct structures that use much longer energy transfer "wires" for light-harvesting applications in photonic systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8473-8481
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number21
StatePublished - May 29 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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