We have studied gold and graphite electrodes in an electrochemistry cell under various solutions using the scanning tunneling microscope (STM). The gold (111) surface yields quite reproducible images and cyclic voltammograms. In situ voltammograms show that, under certain conditions, nanomolar quantities of DNA fragments can suppress the adsorption of a buffer salt of millimolar concentration. When the DNA concentration is reduced below that required for a monolayer coverage, the salt adsorption is restored. We show images of bare gold, gold covered with an adsorbate produced by the buffer salt, and gold prepared with a concentration of DNA fragments close to that required for monolayer coverage added to the buffer. Under these conditions, the surface is found to be uniformly covered with a characteristic structure. © 1990.
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