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Nat Mater. 2010 Nov;9(11):913-7. doi: 10.1038/nmat2870. Epub 2010 Oct 3.

DNA-nanoparticle superlattices formed from anisotropic building blocks.

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Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Evanston, Illinois 60208-3113, USA.


Directional bonding interactions in solid-state atomic lattices dictate the unique symmetries of atomic crystals, resulting in a diverse and complex assortment of three-dimensional structures that exhibit a wide variety of material properties. Methods to create analogous nanoparticle superlattices are beginning to be realized, but the concept of anisotropy is still largely underdeveloped in most particle assembly schemes. Some examples provide interesting methods to take advantage of anisotropic effects, but most are able to make only small clusters or lattices that are limited in crystallinity and especially in lattice parameter programmability. Anisotropic nanoparticles can be used to impart directional bonding interactions on the nanoscale, both through face-selective functionalization of the particle with recognition elements to introduce the concept of valency, and through anisotropic interactions resulting from particle shape. In this work, we examine the concept of inherent shape-directed crystallization in the context of DNA-mediated nanoparticle assembly. Importantly, we show how the anisotropy of these particles can be used to synthesize one-, two- and three-dimensional structures that cannot be made through the assembly of spherical particles.

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