Self-Assembled Three-Dimensional Chiral Colloidal Architecture: Uniquely Left or Uniquely Right Handed

Scientific Achievement

We used DNA nanotechnology to self-assemble uniquely left handed or right handed micron scale colloidal clusters - a step toward freeform architecture.

Significance and Impact

We demonstrate a general technology using nanometer programmed DNA information to guide self assembly of meta-materials for uses from biology to photonics.

Main steps of synthesis – A DNA origami complex is mixed with complementary DNA coated colloids to controllably self assemble either left handed or right handed clusters. Scale Bars are 2 microns.

Research Details

  • Free form self assembly requires control over angles, dihedral angels and chirality.
  • Previously micron scale self assembly focused on periodic structures as control over angles and chirality was limited to molecular structures and nanoparticles.
  • We married the functional flexibility of DNA origami nano-technology with the structural rigidity of colloidal particles to extend the province of programmable self assembly to the micron scale, and beyond.

Work performed at the Center for Soft Matter Research, New York University