Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > New Method Uses DNA, Nanoparticles and Top-Down Lithography to Make Optically Active Structures: Technique could lead to new classes of materials that can bend light, such as for those used in cloaking devices

Researchers have developed a new method to precisely arrange nanoparticles of different sizes and shapes in two and three dimensions, resulting in optically active superlattices.
Researchers have developed a new method to precisely arrange nanoparticles of different sizes and shapes in two and three dimensions, resulting in optically active superlattices.

Abstract:
•DNA -- nature’s blueprint -- is a key tool in new method
•‘Architecture is everything when designing new materials,’ scientist says
•The structures cannot be made using any other known technique
•Powerful technique combines a workhorse fabrication method with a new one based on DNA programmability

New Method Uses DNA, Nanoparticles and Top-Down Lithography to Make Optically Active Structures: Technique could lead to new classes of materials that can bend light, such as for those used in cloaking devices

Evanston, IL | Posted on January 18th, 2018

Northwestern University researchers have developed a first-of-its-kind technique for creating entirely new classes of optical materials and devices that could lead to light bending and cloaking devices -- news to make the ears of Star Trek’s Spock perk up.

Using DNA as a key tool, the interdisciplinary team took gold nanoparticles of different sizes and shapes and arranged them in two and three dimensions to form optically active superlattices. Structures with specific configurations could be programmed through choice of particle type and both DNA-pattern and sequence to exhibit almost any color across the visible spectrum, the scientists report.

“Architecture is everything when designing new materials, and we now have a new way to precisely control particle architectures over large areas,” said Chad A. Mirkin, the George B. Rathmann Professor of Chemistry in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern. “Chemists and physicists will be able to build an almost infinite number of new structures with all sorts of interesting properties. These structures cannot be made by any known technique.”

The technique combines an old fabrication method -- top-down lithography, the same method used to make computer chips -- with a new one -- programmable self-assembly driven by DNA. The Northwestern team is the first to combine the two to achieve individual particle control in three dimensions.

The study was published online by the journal Science today (Jan. 18). Mirkin and Vinayak P. Dravid and Koray Aydin, both professors in Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering, are co-corresponding authors.

Scientists will be able to use the powerful and flexible technique to build metamaterials -- materials not found in nature -- for a range of applications including sensors for medical and environmental uses.

The researchers used a combination of numerical simulations and optical spectroscopy techniques to identify particular nanoparticle superlattices that absorb specific wavelengths of visible light. The DNA-modified nanoparticles -- gold in this case -- are positioned on a pre-patterned template made of complementary DNA. Stacks of structures can be made by introducing a second and then a third DNA-modified particle with DNA that is complementary to the subsequent layers.

In addition to being unusual architectures, these materials are stimuli-responsive: the DNA strands that hold them together change in length when exposed to new environments, such as solutions of ethanol that vary in concentration. The change in DNA length, the researchers found, resulted in a change of color from black to red to green, providing extreme tunability of optical properties.

“Tuning the optical properties of metamaterials is a significant challenge, and our study achieves one of the highest tunability ranges achieved to date in optical metamaterials,” said Aydin, assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science at McCormick.

“Our novel metamaterial platform -- enabled by precise and extreme control of gold nanoparticle shape, size and spacing -- holds significant promise for next-generation optical metamaterials and metasurfaces,” Aydin said.

The study describes a new way to organize nanoparticles in two and three dimensions. The researchers used lithography methods to drill tiny holes -- only one nanoparticle wide -- in a polymer resist, creating “landing pads” for nanoparticle components modified with strands of DNA. The landing pads are essential, Mirkin said, since they keep the structures that are grown vertical.

The nanoscopic landing pads are modified with one sequence of DNA, and the gold nanoparticles are modified with complementary DNA. By alternating nanoparticles with complementary DNA, the researchers built nanoparticle stacks with tremendous positional control and over a large area. The particles can be different sizes and shapes (spheres, cubes and disks, for example).

“This approach can be used to build periodic lattices from optically active particles, such as gold, silver and any other material that can be modified with DNA, with extraordinary nanoscale precision,” said Mirkin, director of Northwestern’s International Institute for Nanotechnology.

Mirkin also is a professor of medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and professor of chemical and biological engineering, biomedical engineering and materials science and engineering in the McCormick School.

The success of the reported DNA programmable assembly required expertise with hybrid (soft-hard) materials and exquisite nanopatterning and lithographic capabilities to achieve the requisite spatial resolution, definition and fidelity across large substrate areas. The project team turned to Dravid, a longtime collaborator of Mirkin’s who specializes in nanopatterning, advanced microscopy and characterization of soft, hard and hybrid nanostructures.

Dravid contributed his expertise and assisted in designing the nanopatterning and lithography strategy and the associated characterization of the new exotic structures. He is the Abraham Harris Professor of Materials Science and Engineering in McCormick and the founding director of the NUANCE center, which houses the advanced patterning, lithography and characterization used in the DNA-programmed structures.

The study is titled “Building Superlattices from Individual Nanoparticles via Template-Confined DNA-Mediated Assembly.” Qing-Yuan Lin, Jarad A. Mason and Zhongyang Li are first authors of the study.

The Center for Bio-Inspired Energy Science, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences (award #DE-SC0000989) and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (award numbers FA9550-12-1-0280, FA9550-14-1-0274 and FA9550-17-1-0348) supported the research.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Megan Fellman
847-491-3115


Bob Rowley
847-491-4889


Source contacts:

Chad Mirkin
cell 847-414-4623

Koray Aydin


Vinayak Dravid

Copyright © Northwestern University

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 News Press

News and information

Research brief: UMN researchers use green gold to rapidly detect and identify harmful bacteria August 15th, 2018

Particles pull last drops of oil from well water: Rice University engineers find nanoscale solution to 'produced water' problem August 15th, 2018

CTI Materials drives nano commercialization with it's patented surfactant free nanoparticle dispersions August 15th, 2018

Flipping the switch on supramolecular electronics August 14th, 2018

Nanofabrication

Nano-kirigami: 'Paper-cut' provides model for 3D intelligent nanofabrication July 13th, 2018

Strain improves performance of atomically thin semiconductor material May 11th, 2018

A designer's toolkit for constructing complex nanoparticles May 5th, 2018

Watching nanomaterials form in 4D: Novel technology allows researchers to see dynamic reactions as they happen at the nanoscale April 26th, 2018

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Research brief: UMN researchers use green gold to rapidly detect and identify harmful bacteria August 15th, 2018

Particles pull last drops of oil from well water: Rice University engineers find nanoscale solution to 'produced water' problem August 15th, 2018

Flipping the switch on supramolecular electronics August 14th, 2018

New technology can detect hundreds of proteins in a single sample: Improvement of barcoding technique offers cost-effective alternative to current technology August 13th, 2018

Possible Futures

Research brief: UMN researchers use green gold to rapidly detect and identify harmful bacteria August 15th, 2018

Particles pull last drops of oil from well water: Rice University engineers find nanoscale solution to 'produced water' problem August 15th, 2018

How hot is Schrödinger's coffee? August 15th, 2018

New technology can detect hundreds of proteins in a single sample: Improvement of barcoding technique offers cost-effective alternative to current technology August 13th, 2018

Discoveries

Research brief: UMN researchers use green gold to rapidly detect and identify harmful bacteria August 15th, 2018

Particles pull last drops of oil from well water: Rice University engineers find nanoscale solution to 'produced water' problem August 15th, 2018

How hot is Schrödinger's coffee? August 15th, 2018

Flipping the switch on supramolecular electronics August 14th, 2018

Announcements

Research brief: UMN researchers use green gold to rapidly detect and identify harmful bacteria August 15th, 2018

Particles pull last drops of oil from well water: Rice University engineers find nanoscale solution to 'produced water' problem August 15th, 2018

How hot is Schrödinger's coffee? August 15th, 2018

CTI Materials drives nano commercialization with it's patented surfactant free nanoparticle dispersions August 15th, 2018

Military

Biomimetic micro/nanoscale fiber reinforced composites August 10th, 2018

In borophene, boundaries are no barrier: Rice U., Northwestern researchers make and test atom-thick boron's unique domains July 17th, 2018

UMBC researchers develop nanoparticles to reduce internal bleeding caused by blast trauma July 13th, 2018

Carbon is the new black: Researchers use carbon nanotubes to develop clothing that can double as batteries July 10th, 2018

Nanobiotechnology

Research brief: UMN researchers use green gold to rapidly detect and identify harmful bacteria August 15th, 2018

New technology can detect hundreds of proteins in a single sample: Improvement of barcoding technique offers cost-effective alternative to current technology August 13th, 2018

Scientists squeeze nanocrystals in a liquid droplet into a solid-like state and back again: Simple chemical technique transforms crystal mixture where 2 liquids meet August 9th, 2018

Nanoscience and the future of healthcare kick off first day of ACS national meeting in Boston: Presidential events highlight safety, diversity and groundbreaking research August 2nd, 2018

Photonics/Optics/Lasers

Breaking down the Wiedemann-Franz law: In a study exploring the coupling between heat and particle currents in a gas of strongly interacting atoms, physicists at ETH Zurich find puzzling behaviours August 10th, 2018

Optical fibers that can 'feel' the materials around them August 7th, 2018

NUST MISIS scientists present metamaterial for solar cells and nanooptics July 23rd, 2018

Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers July 20th, 2018

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



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project