The chemical interactions that lead to the emergence of hierarchical structures are often highly complex and difficult to program. Herein, the synthesis of a series of superlattices based upon 30 different structurally reconfigurable DNA dendrimers is reported, each of which presents a well-defined number of single-stranded oligonucleotides (i.e., sticky ends) on its surface. Such building blocks assemble with complementary DNA-functionalized gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) to yield five distinct crystal structures, depending upon choice of dendrimer and defined by phase symmetry. These DNA dendrimers can associate to form micelle-dendrimers, whereby the extent of association can be modulated based upon surfactant concentration and dendrimer length to produce a low-symmetry Ti5Ga4-type phase that has yet to be reported in the field of colloidal crystal engineering. Taken together, colloidal crystals that feature three different types of particle bonding interactions - template-dendron, dendrimer-dendrimer, and DNA-modified AuNP-dendrimer - are reported, illustrating how sequence-defined recognition and dynamic association can be combined to yield complex hierarchical materials.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry