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J Phys Chem Lett. 2010 May 25;1(12):1781-1788.

Using DNA to Link Gold Nanoparticles, Polymers and Molecules: a Theoretical Perspective.

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Department of Chemistry, Northwestern University, Evanston IL 60208-3113.


This Perspective describes theoretical studies aimed at understanding the structural and thermal properties of materials in which DNA is used to link gold nanoparticles, or polymers or organic molecules. Particularly in the case of gold nanoparticles, the materials derived from this structural motif have proven to be important for biological sensing and other applications, however additional applications may arise as a result of recent advances in the preparation of crystalline materials based on DNA-linked particles. From a theory perspective these are challenging materials to describe due to the large number of atoms, and the polyelectrolyte character of DNA, however there has been important progress recently using all-atom and coarse-grained molecular dynamics, and with analytical theory. Among topics that we discuss are the structure and density of DNA when attached to gold particles, and the size and melting properties of DNA-linked nanoparticles in different environments.

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