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:


These links to content published by NPG are automatically generated.


Materials science Membrane magic

Nature News and Views (21 Jan 2010)

Materials science Quasicrystals from nanocrystals

Nature News and Views (15 Oct 2009)

See all 3 matches for News And Views