Terahertz time-domain spectroscopy and imaging of artificial RNA

Opt Express. 2005 Jul 11;13(14):5205-15. doi: 10.1364/opex.13.005205.


We use terahertz time-domain spectroscopy (THz-TDS) to measure the far-infrared dielectric function of two artificial RNA single strands, composed of polyadenylic acid (poly-A) and polycytidylic acid (poly-C). We find a significant difference in the absorption between the two types of RNA strands, and we show that we can use this difference to record images of spot arrays of the RNA strands. Under controlled conditions it is possible to use the THz image to distinguish between the two RNA strands. We discuss the requirements to sample preparation imposed by the lack of sharp spectral features in the absorption spectra.