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Nat Mater. 2009 May;8(5):388-91. doi: 10.1038/nmat2421. Epub 2009 Mar 29.

Stepwise surface encoding for high-throughput assembly of nanoclusters.

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  • 1Center for Functional Nanomaterials, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, New York 11973, USA.


Self-assembly offers a promising method to organize functional nanoscale objects into two-dimensional (2D) and 3D superstructures for exploiting their collective effects. On the other hand, many unique phenomena emerge after arranging a few nanoscale objects into clusters, the so-called artificial molecules. The strategy of using biomolecular linkers between nanoparticles has proven especially useful for construction of such nanoclusters. However, conventional solution-based reactions typically yield a broad population of multimers or isomers of clusters; furthermore, the efficiency of fabrication is often limited. Here, we describe a novel high-throughput method for designing and fabricating clusters using DNA-encoded nanoparticles assembled on a solid support in a stepwise manner. This method efficiently imparts particles with anisotropy during their assembly and disassembly at a surface, generating remarkably high yields of well-defined dimer clusters and Janus (two-faced) nanoparticles. The method is scalable and modular, assuring large quantities of clusters of designated sizes and compositions.

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