Article abstract

Nature Materials 8, 519 - 525 (2009)
Published online: 3 May 2009 | doi:10.1038/nmat2440

Subject Categories: Molecular electronics | Nanoscale materials

Free-standing nanoparticle superlattice sheets controlled by DNA

Wenlong Cheng1, Michael J. Campolongo1, Judy J. Cha2, Shawn J. Tan1, Christopher C. Umbach3, David A. Muller2 & Dan Luo1

Free-standing nanoparticle superlattices (suspended highly ordered nanoparticle arrays) are ideal for designing metamaterials and nanodevices free of substrate-induced electromagnetic interference. Here, we report on the first DNA-based route towards monolayered free-standing nanoparticle superlattices. In an unconventional way, DNA was used as a 'dry ligand' in a microhole-confined, drying-mediated self-assembly process. Without the requirement of specific Watson–Crick base-pairing, we obtained discrete, free-standing superlattice sheets in which both structure (inter-particle spacings) and functional properties (plasmonic and mechanical) can be rationally controlled by adjusting DNA length. In particular, the edge-to-edge inter-particle spacing for monolayered superlattice sheets can be tuned up to 20 nm, which is a much wider range than has been achieved with alkyl molecular ligands. Our method opens a simple yet efficient avenue towards the assembly of artificial nanoparticle solids in their ultimate thickness limit—a promising step that may enable the integration of free-standing superlattices into solid-state nanodevices.

  1. Department of Biological & Environmental Engineering, Cornell University, 226 Riley Robb, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA
  2. Applied & Engineering Physics, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14850, USA
  3. Materials Science & Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA

Correspondence to: Dan Luo1 e-mail:


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