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Nanoparticles functionalized with photoresponsive molecules assemble into supracrystals on irradiation with UV light and disassemble on irradiation with visible light. These dynamic structures can trap small molecules from the surrounding solution and accelerate chemical reactions in repeated cycles. The artist's impression in the cover shows anthracene dimerization inside the supracrystal structure, with reactants going in and products coming out.
By taking advantage of the thermal gradient that is generated in plasmonic systems and by using an a.c. field, plasmonic tweezers can have a large radius of action and can trap and manipulate single nano-objects.
Colloidal nanocrystals functionalized with light-responsive ligands can be cyclically assembled and disassembled to create nanoscale environments where chemical reaction rates are enhanced and stereoselectivities can be controlled.
A monovalent form of an engineered streptavidin can now be tethered to AFM cantilevers, representing a reliable anchoring tool with a well-defined pulling geometry for single-molecule force spectroscopy studies of proteins.