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      Coupled synthesis and self-assembly of nanoparticles to give structures with controlled organization

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      Nature

      Springer Nature

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          A DNA-based method for rationally assembling nanoparticles into macroscopic materials.

          Colloidal particles of metals and semiconductors have potentially useful optical, optoelectronic and material properties that derive from their small (nanoscopic) size. These properties might lead to applications including chemical sensors, spectroscopic enhancers, quantum dot and nanostructure fabrication, and microimaging methods. A great deal of control can now be exercised over the chemical composition, size and polydispersity of colloidal particles, and many methods have been developed for assembling them into useful aggregates and materials. Here we describe a method for assembling colloidal gold nanoparticles rationally and reversibly into macroscopic aggregates. The method involves attaching to the surfaces of two batches of 13-nm gold particles non-complementary DNA oligonucleotides capped with thiol groups, which bind to gold. When we add to the solution an oligonucleotide duplex with 'sticky ends' that are complementary to the two grafted sequences, the nanoparticles self-assemble into aggregates. This assembly process can be reversed by thermal denaturation. This strategy should now make it possible to tailor the optical, electronic and structural properties of the colloidal aggregates by using the specificity of DNA interactions to direct the interactions between particles of different size and composition.
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            Organization of 'nanocrystal molecules' using DNA.

            Patterning matter on the nanometre scale is an important objective of current materials chemistry and physics. It is driven by both the need to further miniaturize electronic components and the fact that at the nanometre scale, materials properties are strongly size-dependent and thus can be tuned sensitively. In nanoscale crystals, quantum size effects and the large number of surface atoms influence the, chemical, electronic, magnetic and optical behaviour. 'Top-down' (for example, lithographic) methods for nanoscale manipulation reach only to the upper end of the nanometre regime; but whereas 'bottom-up' wet chemical techniques allow for the preparation of mono-disperse, defect-free crystallites just 1-10 nm in size, ways to control the structure of nanocrystal assemblies are scarce. Here we describe a strategy for the synthesis of 'nanocrystal molecules', in which discrete numbers of gold nanocrystals are organized into spatially defined structures based on Watson-Crick base-pairing interactions. We attach single-stranded DNA oligonucleotides of defined length and sequence to individual nanocrystals, and these assemble into dimers and trimers on addition of a complementary single-stranded DNA template. We anticipate that this approach should allow the construction of more complex two- and three-dimensional assemblies.
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              Self-Organization of CdSe Nanocrystallites into Three-Dimensional Quantum Dot Superlattices

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature
                Nature
                Springer Nature
                0028-0836
                1476-4687
                November 1999
                November 1999
                : 402
                : 6760
                : 393-395
                10.1038/46509
                © 1999

                http://www.springer.com/tdm

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                Self URI (article page): http://www.nature.com/articles/46509

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