Date of Graduation

Fall 12-14-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Chemistry


College of Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Ryan M. West

Second Advisor

Janet Yang

Third Advisor

Lawrence D. Margerum


In this thesis, we demonstrate an electrochemical approach for monitoring the electric-field induced melting of surface-bound double-stranded DNA. The electrochemical routine involves repeated chronoamperometry pulses to melt the duplex and square wave voltammetry to monitor the extent of melting. We utilize a scanning potential and constant potential technique to generate melting curves and access the stability and kinetics of the DNA duplexes. Our method uses a mixed monolayer of thiol-modified DNA oligomers and mercaptohexanol on gold electrodes, are subsequently incubated with target DNA covalently modified with electroactive methylene blue. Under room temperature, 10 mM Tris, and optimized electrochemical parameters, DNA duplexes are discriminated based on factors such as base pairs, hairpins, and mismatches. As a proof of concept, this method was extended towards a label-free DNA melting method.