Nanoscale components can be self-assembled into static three-dimensional structures1,2,3,4,5,6, arrays7,8,9 and clusters10,11,12,13 using biomolecular motifs. The structural plasticity of biomolecules and the reversibility of their interactions can also be used to make nanostructures that are dynamic, reconfigurable and responsive. DNA has emerged as an ideal biomolecular motif for making such nanostructures, partly because its versatile morphology permits in situ conformational changes using molecular stimuli12,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22. This has allowed DNA nanostructures to exhibit reconfigurable topologies and mechanical movement17,18. Recently, researchers have begun to translate this approach to nanoparticle interfaces18,23,24, where, for example, the distances between nanoparticles can be modulated, resulting in a distance-dependent plasmonic response18,23,25. Here, we report the assembly of nanoparticles into three-dimensional superlattices and dimer clusters, using a reconfigurable DNA device that acts as an interparticle linkage. The interparticle distances in the superlattices and clusters can be modified, while preserving structural integrity, by adding molecular stimuli (simple DNA strands) after the self-assembly processes has been completed. Both systems were found to switch between two distinct rigid states, but a transition to a flexible device configuration within a superlattice showed a significant hysteresis.
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This research was supported by the US Department of Energy Office of Science and Office of Basic Energy Sciences under contract no. DE-AC-02-98CH10886. The authors thank the National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS) at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) for use of their facilities. M.T.K. and W.B.S. acknowledge support by a Laboratory Directed Research and Development grant (07-025) from BNL. M.M.M. acknowledges a Goldhaber Distinguished Fellowship at BNL sponsored by Brookhaven Science Associates.
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
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Maye, M., Kumara, M., Nykypanchuk, D. et al. Switching binary states of nanoparticle superlattices and dimer clusters by DNA strands. Nature Nanotech 5, 116–120 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1038/nnano.2009.378
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