Progress Article abstract

Nature Nanotechnology 3, 81 - 87 (2008)

Nucleic acid and nucleotide-mediated synthesis of inorganic nanoparticles

Lorenzo Berti1 & Glenn A. Burley2

Since the advent of practical methods for achieving DNA metallization, the use of nucleic acids as templates for the synthesis of inorganic nanoparticles (NPs) has become an active area of study. It is now widely recognized that nucleic acids have the ability to control the growth and morphology of inorganic NPs. These biopolymers are particularly appealing as templating agents as their ease of synthesis in conjunction with the possibility of screening nucleotide composition, sequence and length, provides the means to modulate the physico-chemical properties of the resulting NPs. Several synthetic procedures leading to NPs with interesting photophysical properties as well as studies aimed at rationalizing the mechanism of nucleic acid-templated NP synthesis are now being reported. This progress article will outline the current understanding of the nucleic acid-templated process and provides an up to date reference in this nascent field.

  1. CNR-INFM, National Research Center on Nanostructures and Biosystems at Surfaces S3, Via Campi, 213/A 41100 Modena, Italy
  2. Department of Chemistry, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester, LE1 7RH UK

Correspondence to: Lorenzo Berti1 e-mail:

Correspondence to: Glenn A. Burley2 e-mail: