Public Release: 

Precise chiral cluster assembly by design

American Association for the Advancement of Science

Scientists have developed a way to precisely assemble micron-sized colloidal clusters of a particular chirality, or orientation in space, by using strands of origami DNA. The advancement offers scientists an extra level of control over particle assembly, which could eventually help them better study and use particles with unusual optical, electric, or magnetic properties. Here, Matan Yah Ben Zion and colleagues created a piece of DNA, in a stiff L-shape, that can lie across the surface of a colloidal particle and molds to its surface. Additional colloidal particles with complementary strands are then able to pair to the DNA, creating a cluster with angles that are prescribed by the DNA. Furthermore, the researchers show that they can control the placement of three different colloidal particles onto a central one, thus controlling the chirality of the cluster to make "right-handed" or "left-handed" versions.

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