Deterministic Symmetry Breaking of Plasmonic Nanostructures Enabled by DNA-Programmable Assembly

Matthew R. Jones, Kevin L. Kohlstedt, Matthew N. O’Brien, Jinsong Wu, George C. Schatz, Chad A. Mirkin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The physical properties of matter rely fundamentally on the symmetry of constituent building blocks. This is particularly true for structures that interact with light via the collective motion of 1372their conduction electrons (i.e., plasmonic materials), where the observation of exotic optical effects, such as negative refraction and electromagnetically induced transparency, require the coupling of modes that are only present in systems with nontrivial broken symmetries. Lithography has been the predominant fabrication technique for constructing plasmonic metamaterials, as it can be used to form patterns of arbitrary complexity, including those with broken symmetry. Here, we show that low-symmetry, 1D plasmonic structures that would be challenging to make using traditional lithographic techniques can be assembled using DNA as a programmable surface ligand. We investigate the optical properties that arise as a result of systematic symmetry breaking and demonstrate the appearance of p-type coupled modes formed from both dipole and quadrupole nanoparticle sources. These results demonstrate the power of DNA assembly for generating unusual structures that exhibit both fundamentally insightful and technologically important optical properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSpherical Nucleic Acids
Subtitle of host publicationVolume 3
PublisherJenny Stanford Publishing
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781000092486
ISBN (Print)9789814877237
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Engineering
  • General Chemistry


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