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Flexibility defines structure in crystals of amphiphilic DNA nanostars

DOI: 10.1088/1361-648X/aaf4a1 DOI Help

Authors: Ryan Brady (University of Cambridge) , Will T. Kaufhold (University of Cambridge) , Nicholas J. Brooks (Imperial College London) , Vito Foderà (University of Copenhagen) , Lorenzo Di Michele (University of Cambridge)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Journal Of Physics: Condensed Matter , VOL 31

State: Published (Approved)
Published: February 2019
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 17271 , 16970

Abstract: DNA nanostructures with programmable shape and interactions can be used as building blocks for the self-assembly of crystalline materials with prescribed nanoscale features, holding a vast technological potential. Structural rigidity and bond directionality have been recognised as key design features for DNA motifs to sustain long-range order in 3D, but the practical challenges associated with prescribing building-block geometry with sufficient accuracy have limited the variety of available designs. We have recently introduced a novel platform for the one-pot preparation of crystalline DNA frameworks supported by a combination of Watson–Crick base pairing and hydrophobic forces (Brady et al 2017 Nano Lett. 17 3276–81). Here we use small angle x-ray scattering and coarse-grained molecular simulations to demonstrate that, as opposed to available all-DNA approaches, amphiphilic motifs do not rely on structural rigidity to support long-range order. Instead, the flexibility of amphiphilic DNA building-blocks is a crucial feature for successful crystallisation.

Subject Areas: Chemistry, Physics


Instruments: B21-High Throughput SAXS , I22-Small angle scattering & Diffraction