Optical properties of an immobilized DNA monolayer from 255 to 700 nm

Selim Elhadj, Gaurav Singh, Ravi F. Saraf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

147 Scopus citations


The real (n) and imaginary (k) refractive indices of an immobilized monolayer of 27 nucleotide (nt) single stranded DNA (ssDNA) and the corresponding double stranded DNA (dsDNA) are measured in the 255-700 nm range. Multiple techniques are used to obtain consistent estimation. The coverage is ∼6.5% with an average interchain distance of tethered ssDNA molecules of ∼11.8 nm, which is significantly larger than the "footprint" of the chain on the surface. The measured increase in n by ∼5% between the ssDNA and the dsDNA is 20% smaller than the expected change due to doubling of the molecular weight. The change in k is not significant, indicating that the electron delocalization effect expected in dsDNA due to base pair stacking is not important at optical frequencies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5539-5543
Number of pages5
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jun 22 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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