DNA- and Field-Mediated Assembly of Magnetic Nanoparticles into High-Aspect Ratio Crystals

Sarah S. Park, Zachary J. Urbach, Chase A. Brisbois, Kelly A. Parker, Benjamin E. Partridge, Taegon Oh, Vinayak P. Dravid, Monica Olvera de la Cruz*, Chad A. Mirkin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Under an applied magnetic field, superparamagnetic Fe3O4 nanoparticles with complementary DNA strands assemble into crystalline, pseudo-1D elongated superlattice structures. The assembly process is driven through a combination of DNA hybridization and particle dipolar coupling, a property dependent on particle composition, size, and interparticle distance. The DNA controls interparticle distance and crystal symmetry, while the magnetic field leads to anisotropic crystal growth. Increasing the dipole interaction between particles by increasing particle size or external field strength leads to a preference for a particular crystal morphology (e.g., rhombic dodecahedra, stacked clusters, and smooth rods). Molecular dynamics simulations show that an understanding of both DNA hybridization energetic and magnetic interactions is required to predict the resulting crystal morphology. Taken together, the data show that applied magnetic fields with magnetic nanoparticles can be deliberately used to access nanostructures beyond what is possible with DNA hybridization alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1906626
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020


  • colloidal crystals
  • high-aspect ratio crystals
  • iron oxide nanoparticles
  • magnetic nanoparticles
  • nanoparticle superlattices

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)


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