Nanotechnology Now







Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > DNA-Guided Assembly Yields Novel Ribbon-Like Nanostructures: Approach could be useful in fabricating new kinds of materials with engineered properties

DNA-tethered nanorods link up like rungs on a ribbonlike ladder—a new mechanism for linear self-assembly that may be unique to the nanoscale.
DNA-tethered nanorods link up like rungs on a ribbonlike ladder—a new mechanism for linear self-assembly that may be unique to the nanoscale.

Abstract:
Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory have discovered that DNA "linker" strands coax nano-sized rods to line up in a way unlike any other spontaneous arrangement of rod-shaped objects. The arrangement-with the rods forming "rungs" on ladder-like ribbons linked by multiple DNA strands-results from the collective interactions of the flexible DNA tethers and may be unique to the nanoscale. The research, described in a paper published online in ACS Nano, a journal of the American Chemical Society, could result in the fabrication of new nanostructured materials with desired properties.

DNA-Guided Assembly Yields Novel Ribbon-Like Nanostructures: Approach could be useful in fabricating new kinds of materials with engineered properties

Upton, NY | Posted on May 16th, 2013

"This is a completely new mechanism of self-assembly that does not have direct analogs in the realm of molecular or microscale systems," said Brookhaven physicist Oleg Gang, lead author on the paper, who conducted the bulk of the research at the Lab's Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN, www.bnl.gov/cfn/).

Broad classes of rod-like objects, ranging from molecules to viruses, often exhibit typical liquid-crystal-like behavior, where the rods align with a directional dependence, sometimes with the aligned crystals forming two-dimensional planes over a given area. Rod shaped objects with strong directionality and attractive forces between their ends-resulting, for example, from polarized charge distribution-may also sometimes line up end-to-end forming linear one-dimensional chains.

Neither typical arrangement is found in the DNA-tethered nanorods.

"Our discovery shows that a qualitatively new regime emerges for nanoscale objects decorated with flexible molecular tethers of comparable sizes-a one-dimensional ladder-like linear arrangement that appears in the absence of end-to-end affinity among the rods," Gang said.

Alexei Tkachenko, the CFN scientist who developed the theory to explain the exceptional arrangement, elaborated: "Remarkably, the system has all three dimensions to live in, yet it chooses to form the linear, almost one-dimensional ribbons. It can be compared to how extra dimensions that are hypothesized by high-energy physicists become 'hidden,' so that we find ourselves in a 3-D world."

Tkachenko explains how the ladder-like alignment results from a fundamental symmetry breaking:

"Once a nanorod connects to another one side-by-side, it loses the cylindrical symmetry it had when it had free tethers all around. Then, the next nanorod will preferentially bind to another side of the first, where there are still DNA linkers available."

DNA as glue

Using synthetic DNA as a form of molecular glue to guide nanoparticle assembly has been a central approach of Gang's research at the CFN. His previous work has shown that strands of this molecule-better known for carrying the genetic code of living things-can pull nanoparticles together when strands bearing complementary sequences of nucleotide bases (known by the letters A, T, G, and C) are used as tethers, or inhibit binding when unmatched strands are used. Carefully controlling those attractive and inhibitory forces can lead to fine-tuned nanoscale engineering.

In the current study, the scientists used gold nanorods and single strands of DNA to explore arrangements made with complementary tethers attached to adjacent rods. They also examined the effects of using linker strands of varying lengths to serve as the tethering glue.

After mixing the various combinations, they studied the resulting arrangements using ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy at the CFN, and also with small-angle x-ray scattering at Brookhaven's National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS, www.bnl.gov/ps/nsls/about-NSLS.asp). They also used techniques to "freeze" the action at various points during assembly and observed those static phases using scanning electron microscopy to get a better understanding of how the process progressed over time.

The various analysis methods confirmed the side-by-side arrangement of the nanorods arrayed like rungs on a ladder-like ribbon during the early stages of assembly, followed later by stacking of the ribbons and finally larger-scale three-dimensional aggregation due to the formation of DNA bridges between the ribbons.
This staged assembly process, called hierarchical, is reminiscent of self-assembly in many biological systems (for example, the linking of amino acids into chains followed by the subsequent folding of these chains to form functional proteins).

The stepwise nature of the assembly suggested to the team that the process could be stopped at the intermediate stages. Using "blocker" strands of DNA to bind up the remaining free tethers on the linear ribbon-like structures, they demonstrated their ability to prevent the later-stage interactions that form aggregate structures.

"Stopping the assembly process at the ladder-like ribbon stage could potentially be applied for the fabrication of linear structures with engineered properties," Gang said. "For example by controlling plasmonic or fluorescent properties-the materials' responses to light-we might be able to make nanoscale light concentrators or light guides, and be able to switch them on demand."

Additional authors on this study include: Stephanie Vial of CFN and the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory in Braga, Portugal, and Dmytro Nykypanchuk, and Kevin Yager, all of CFN.

This research was funded by the DOE Office of Science (BES), which also provides operations support for the CFN and NSLS at Brookhaven Lab.

The Center for Functional Nanomaterials is one of the five DOE Nanoscale Science Research Centers, premier national user facilities for interdisciplinary research at the nanoscale supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science. Together the NSRCs comprise a suite of complementary facilities that provide researchers with state-of-the-art capabilities to fabricate, process, characterize and model nanoscale materials, and constitute the largest infrastructure investment of the National Nanotechnology Initiative. The NSRCs are located at DOE's Argonne, Brookhaven, Lawrence Berkeley, Oak Ridge, Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories. More information about the DOE NSRCs: science.energy.gov/bes/suf/user-facilities/nanoscale-science-research-centers.

One of the world's most widely used scientific research facilities, the National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS) is host each year to 2,400 researchers from more than 400 universities, laboratories, and companies. Research conducted at the NSLS has yielded advances in biology, physics, chemistry, geophysics, medicine, and materials science. More information about NSLS: www.bnl.gov/ps/nsls/About-NSLS.asp.

DOE's Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.

####

About Brookhaven National Laboratory
One of ten national laboratories overseen and primarily funded by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Brookhaven National Laboratory conducts research in the physical, biomedical, and environmental sciences, as well as in energy technologies and national security. Brookhaven Lab also builds and operates major scientific facilities available to university, industry and government researchers. Brookhaven is operated and managed for DOE's Office of Science by Brookhaven Science Associates, a limited-liability company founded by the Research Foundation for the State University of New York on behalf of Stony Brook University, the largest academic user of Laboratory facilities, and Battelle, a nonprofit applied science and technology organization.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Karen McNulty Walsh
(631) 344-8350

or
Peter Genzer
(631) 344-3174

Copyright © Brookhaven National Laboratory

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

Scientific paper:

Press releases on previous related work:

Switchable Nanostructures Made with DNA:

DNA-Based Assembly Line for Precision Nano-Cluster Construction:

Related News Press

Laboratories

Channeling valleytronics in graphene: Berkeley Lab researchers discover 1-D conducting channels in bilayer graphene May 6th, 2015

Grafoid Acquires MuAnalysis Inc; Expands Its Advanced Materials Testing Capabilities May 6th, 2015

Imaging

Channeling valleytronics in graphene: Berkeley Lab researchers discover 1-D conducting channels in bilayer graphene May 6th, 2015

News and information

The next step in DNA computing: GPS mapping? May 6th, 2015

Improving Clinical Care and Patient Quality of Life in Advanced Liver Disease, d-LIVER Workshop, Milan, 27 May 2015 May 6th, 2015

Grafoid Acquires MuAnalysis Inc; Expands Its Advanced Materials Testing Capabilities May 6th, 2015

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Channeling valleytronics in graphene: Berkeley Lab researchers discover 1-D conducting channels in bilayer graphene May 6th, 2015

A better way to build DNA scaffolds: McGill researchers devise new technique to produce long, custom-designed DNA strands May 6th, 2015

Thermometer-like device could help diagnose heart attacks May 6th, 2015

Winner Announced for NNI’s First ‘EnvisioNano’ Nanotechnology Image Contest May 6th, 2015

Self Assembly

Scientists Use Nanoscale Building Blocks and DNA 'Glue' to Shape 3D Superlattices: New approach to designing ordered composite materials for possible energy applications April 23rd, 2015

Advances in molecular electronics: Lights on -- molecule on: Researchers from Dresden and Konstanz succeed in light-controlled molecule switching April 20th, 2015

Carnegie Mellon chemists create tiny gold nanoparticles that reflect nature's patterns April 9th, 2015

DWI scientists program the lifetime of self-assembled nanostructures April 9th, 2015

Discoveries

Attosecond physics: A new gateway to the microcosmos May 6th, 2015

Channeling valleytronics in graphene: Berkeley Lab researchers discover 1-D conducting channels in bilayer graphene May 6th, 2015

A better way to build DNA scaffolds: McGill researchers devise new technique to produce long, custom-designed DNA strands May 6th, 2015

Thermometer-like device could help diagnose heart attacks May 6th, 2015

Announcements

The next step in DNA computing: GPS mapping? May 6th, 2015

Improving Clinical Care and Patient Quality of Life in Advanced Liver Disease, d-LIVER Workshop, Milan, 27 May 2015 May 6th, 2015

Grafoid Acquires MuAnalysis Inc; Expands Its Advanced Materials Testing Capabilities May 6th, 2015

Winner Announced for NNI’s First ‘EnvisioNano’ Nanotechnology Image Contest May 6th, 2015

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers

Inkjet printing process for kesterite solar cells May 6th, 2015

Attosecond physics: A new gateway to the microcosmos May 6th, 2015

Channeling valleytronics in graphene: Berkeley Lab researchers discover 1-D conducting channels in bilayer graphene May 6th, 2015

A better way to build DNA scaffolds: McGill researchers devise new technique to produce long, custom-designed DNA strands May 6th, 2015

Tools

New JEOL E-Beam Lithography System to Enhance Quantum NanoFab Capabilities May 6th, 2015

Attosecond physics: A new gateway to the microcosmos May 6th, 2015

Channeling valleytronics in graphene: Berkeley Lab researchers discover 1-D conducting channels in bilayer graphene May 6th, 2015

Oxford Instruments Asylum Research in Conjunction with the MRS OnDemand® Webinar Series Presents: “Beyond Topography: New Advances in AFM Characterization of Polymers” May 28, 2015 May 5th, 2015

Nanobiotechnology

A better way to build DNA scaffolds: McGill researchers devise new technique to produce long, custom-designed DNA strands May 6th, 2015

The next step in DNA computing: GPS mapping? May 6th, 2015

Improving Clinical Care and Patient Quality of Life in Advanced Liver Disease, d-LIVER Workshop, Milan, 27 May 2015 May 6th, 2015

Artificial photosynthesis could help make fuels, plastics and medicine April 29th, 2015

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More










ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project