Advanced Materials

Base-Pair Stacking in Oriented Films of DNA–Surfactant Complex


  • This research was supported by the MRSEC Program of the National Science Foundation under award number DMR00-80034 and by NSF-DMR-0099843. We also thank Dr. Y. Li and H. Evans, A. Ahamd; and Dr. X. Bu for assistance with the use of the X-ray diffractometers.


The sensitivity of DNA base-pair stacking to water content, as shown here, may be responsible for widely different transport results reported in the literature. Oriented films of a DNA–surfactant complex in which aligned double helices are separated by 4.1 nm, with face-to-face base-pair stacking, bases separated by 0.34 nm, and good π–π overlap, are examined. Dehydration drives the base pairs from parallel planar packing to edge packing with poor π–π overlap (see Figure).