DNA-Programmable Nanoparticle Assembly
In the last decades nanoscale inorganic objects emerged as a novel type of matter with unique functional properties and a plethora of prospective applications. Although a broad range of nano-synthesis methods has been developed, our abilities to organize these nano-components into designed architectures and control their transformations are still limited. In this regard, an incorporation of bio-molecules into a nano-object structure allows establishing highly selective interactions between the components of nano-systems. Such bio-encoding may permit programming of complex and dynamically tunable systems via self-assembly: biomolecules act as site-specific scaffolds, smart assembly guides and reconfigurable structural elements.
I will discuss our advances in addressing the challenge of programmable assembly using the DNA platform, in which a high degree of addressability of nucleic acids is used to direct the formation of structures from nanoscale inorganic components. Our work explores the major leading parameters determining a structure formation and methods for creating targeted architectures. The principles and practical approaches developed by our group allow for assembly of well-defined three-dimensional superlattices, two-dimensional membranes and finite-sized clusters from the multiple types of the components. I will also discuss how interplay of polymeric and colloidal effects can result in the novel interactions effects in these systems. Our recent progress on the assembly by-design, including super-lattices with pre-defined crystallographic symmetries and particle clusters with pre-determined architectures will be demonstrated. Finally, I will present several approaches for the dynamical control of assemblies, which allow for the post-assembly structural manipulation and selective triggering of system transformations.
Research is supported by the U.S. DOE Office of Science and Office of Basic Energy Sciences under contract No. DE-AC-02-98CH10886.