Chemical bonds are a key determinant of the structure and properties of a material. Thus, rationally designing arbitrary materials requires complete control over the bond. While atomic bonding is dictated by the identity of the atoms, nanoparticle superlattice engineering, where nanoparticle "atoms" are held together by DNA "bonds", offers a route to design crystal lattices in a way that nature cannot: through altering the oligonucleotide bond. Herein, the use of RNA, as opposed to DNA, is explored by synthesizing superlattices in which nanoparticles are bonded by DNA/DNA, RNA/RNA, and DNA/RNA duplexes. By moving beyond nanoparticle superlattices assembled only with DNA, a new degree of freedom is introduced, providing programmed responsiveness to enzymes and greater bond versatility. Therefore, the oligonucleotide bond can have programmable function beyond dictating the structure of the material and moves nanoparticle superlattices closer to naturally occurring biomaterials, where the line between structural and functional elements is blurred.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry