E. Vogelsberg, M. Moors, A. S. Sorokina, D. A. Ryndyk, S. Schmitz, J. S. Freitag, A. V. Subbotina, T. Heine, B. Abel, K. Yu. Monakhov
Chem. Mater. 2023, 35, 14, 5447–5457

We report a chemically programmed design and the switching characteristics of a functional metal–DNA-origami–polyoxometalate (POM) material obtained from the solution-processed assembling of biocompatible molecular precursors. The DNA origami is immobilized on the gold surface via thiolate groups and acts as a carrier (ad-layer) structure, ensuring the spatially controlled hybridization of the pre-defined six-helix bundle (6HB) positions with DNA-augmented, tris(alkoxo)-ligated Lindqvist-type polyoxovanadate (POV6) units. The DNA-confined POV6 units accept electrons in a stepwise fashion, allowing for a multi-logic function, which we directly probe using scanning tunneling electron microscopy and spectroscopy. Electron acceptance and injection into the originally non-conducting DNA structure and the subsequent release to the gold substrate depend upon the potential at the nanoscale tip and the oxidation state of POV6, as well as on the mechanism of action of POV6 countercations. By combining experiment and theory, we show that the bio-hybrid heterojunction has far-reaching potential to create a chemically controlled POM-based nano-environment with synaptic behavior.