RNA-templated semiconductor nanocrystals

Nan Ma, Chad J. Dooley, Shana O. Kelley*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


The use of a biomolecular RNA template for the synthesis of CdS semiconductor nanocrystals is described. Transfer RNA, with a well-defined three-dimensional structure, is used as a scaffold and ligand system in the aqueous synthesis of CdS. We have found that nanocrystal structures can be modulated by the structure of the templating tRNA. When possessing a folded three-dimensional structure, tRNA-templated synthesis yields a single product. If the same tRNA is rendered unstructured through the introduction of destabilizing mutations, a range of products are observed. The results reported indicate that biomolecules can be used to systematically engineer the structures and properties of semiconductor-based materials, and that the synergy between the dimensions of nanostructures and biomolecules provides a means to tune the properties of materials with nanoscale precision.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12598-12599
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number39
StatePublished - Oct 4 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Catalysis
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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