Applied Physics Colloquium
Recent advances in molecular nanotechnology, particularly the invention of DNA Origami, provide platforms to design and synthesize supramolecular architectures with unprecedented resolution. These large scale substrates should enable the fabrication of many new types of single molecule sensors. There are, however, challenges involving the organization, placement and orientation of these macromolecular systems. A combination of “top down” and “bottom up” approaches, including self assembly and hierarchical self assembly (or programmed self assembly) must be employed to overcome these challenges. Elements of the techniques used to address these ordering problems, including the use of molecular biology (designing custom macromolecules for optoelectronic applications), molecular lithography (attaching molecules to structures self assembled entirely from DNA) and Imaging (employing methods such as NSOM, AFM and single molecule methods such as SHRIMP (Super High Resolution IMaging with Photobleaching)) to evidence assembly, will be presented.
Dr. Michael Norton received his PhD in Solid State Chemistry from Arizona State University in 1982, working in the area of two dimensional antiferromagnetic materials. As a National Research Council postdoctoral fellow (1982 – 1984), he worked in the area of superconducting oxide materials at the Naval Weapons Center at China Lake, Ca. As an assistant professor at the University of Georgia he developed methods for the electrochemical growth of superconducting oxide superlattices. In his career at Marshall University, his studies have focused on soft matter structures, including DNA based nanostructures, with emphasis on the fabrication and characterization of electro-optical nanoarchitectures for sensing applications. Dr. Norton is co-Director of the Molecular and Biological Imaging Center, located in the new Biotechnology Building on Marshall’s main campus. Dr. Norton is also co-founder of two companies. One company is Vandalia Research, which produces large quantities of custom DNA for industrial, research and educational purposes. The company has laboratories in downtown Huntington. The second company is Parabon Nanolabs, which applies DNA nanotechnology to address challenges in the health and homeland security arenas.
He is also a co-inventor of the technology central to a third company which manufactures light emitting solid state lamps.