Colloids as Artificial Atoms

  • Author: Melania Tesio
  • Published: 17 November 2012
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
  • Source / Publisher: Nature/Nature Publishing Group
thumbnail image: Colloids as Artificial Atoms

Colloids are nanoparticles suspended in a liquid. Their self-assembly is very challenging as, due to their spherical shape, they establish non directional and non specific interactions. Yufeng Wang, New York University, USA, and colleagues overcame this problem by creating colloids bearing geometrically localized, chemically distinct patches on their surface.

By binding the patches to single strand DNA molecules, the scientists enable colloids to interact in a specific manner: Only particles bearing complementary DNA sequences could bind to each other following DNA hybridization. Moreover, by controlling the localization of the DNA-bound patches, the researchers imposed directionality to colloids interactions. The patches were arranged in the symmetrical geometries which regulate atoms' bonding. In this manner, colloids could interact only along certain directions in a way similar to atoms. As a consequence, by putting together colloidal particles bearing matching DNA strands, the scientists induced their self-assembly into tridimensional structures that resembled artificial molecules.

Article Views: 4950

Sign in Area

Please sign in below

Additional Sign In options

Please note that to comment on an article you must be registered and logged in.
Registration is for free, you may already be registered to receive, e.g., the newsletter. When you register on this website, please ensure you view our terms and conditions. All comments are subject to moderation.

Article Comments - To add a comment please sign in

If you would like to reuse any content, in print or online, from, please contact us first for permission. more

Follow on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on YouTube Follow on LinkedIn Follow on Instagram RSS Sign up for newsletters

Magazine of Chemistry Europe (16 European Chemical Societies) published by Wiley-VCH