DNA surface ligands can be used as programmable "bonds" to control the arrangement of nanoparticles into crystalline superlattices. Here, we study the intrinsic responsiveness of these DNA bonds to changes in local dielectric constant (ϵr) as a new approach to dynamically modulate superlattice structure. Remarkably, ethanol (EtOH) addition can be used to controllably tune DNA bond length from 16 to 3 nm and to increase bond stability by >40 °C, while retaining long-range order and crystal habit. Interestingly, we find that these structural changes, which involve the expansion and contraction of crystals by up to 75% in volume, occur in a cooperative fashion once a critical percentage of EtOH is reached. These results provide a facile and robust approach to create stimuli-responsive lattices, to access high volume fractions, and to improve thermal stability.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry