The potential of using a DNA biopolymer in an electro-optic device is presented. A complex of DNA with the
cationic surfactant cetyltrimethylammonium-chloride (CTMA) was used to obtain an organic-soluble DNA material
(DNA-CTMA). Poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) poly(styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) was added to the DNACTMA
to increase the electrical conductivity of the biopolymer. The CW absorbance and time-resolved
photoluminescence of the resulting DNA-CTMA and DNA-CTMA-PEDOT:PSS were investigated. Both DNA
materials have absorbance peaks at ~260 nm and a broad, Stokes shifted, photoluminescence peak around 470nm.
The photoluminescence lifetime of the materials was observed to decrease with increasing UV excitation.
Specifically, excitation with a high power ultrafast (~150fs) UV (266nm) laser pulse resulted in a drastic decrease
in the photoluminescence lifetime decreases after a few minutes. Moreover, the observed decrease was faster in an
air ambient than in a nitrogen ambient. This is most likely due to photo-oxidation that degrades the polymer surface
resulting in an increase in the non-radiative recombination. In order to investigate the photoconductivity of these
two materials, metal-biopolymer-metal (MBM) ultraviolet photodetectors with interdigitated electrodes were
fabricated and characterized. The photoresponsivity of these devices was limited by the transport dynamics within
the film. The prospects for the use of these materials in optical devices will be discussed.