Superlattices assembled through shape-induced directional binding


Lu, F.; Yager, K.G.; Zhang, Y.; Xin, H.; Gang, O. "Superlattices assembled through shape-induced directional binding" Nature Communications 2015, 6 6912.
doi: 10.1038/ncomms7912


We demonstrate how anistropic nanoparticles can be used as 'directional binders' to create nanoparticle superlattices of controlled symmetry.


Organization of spherical particles into lattices is typically driven by packing considerations. Although the addition of directional binding can significantly broaden structural diversity, nanoscale implementation remains challenging. Here we investigate the assembly of clusters and lattices in which anisotropic polyhedral blocks coordinate isotropic spherical nanoparticles via shape-induced directional interactions facilitated by DNA recognition. We show that these polyhedral blocks—cubes and octahedrons—when mixed with spheres, promote the assembly of clusters with architecture determined by polyhedron symmetry. Moreover, three-dimensional binary superlattices are formed when DNA shells accommodate the shape disparity between nanoparticle interfaces. The crystallographic symmetry of assembled lattices is determined by the spatial symmetry of the block’s facets, while structural order depends on DNA-tuned interactions and particle size ratio. The presented lattice assembly strategy, exploiting shape for defining the global structure and DNA-mediation locally, opens novel possibilities for by-design fabrication of binary lattices.