Self-assembled structures of metallic nanoparticles with dynamically changeable interparticle distance hold promise for the regulation of collective physical properties. This paper describes gold nanoparticle dimers and trimers that exhibit spontaneous and reversible changes in interparticle distance. To exploit this property, a gold nanoparticle is modified with precisely one long DNA strand and approximately five short DNA strands. The long DNA serves to align the nanoparticles on a template DNA via hybridization, while the short DNAs function to induce the interparticle distance changes. The obtained dimer and trimer are characterized with gel electrophoresis, dynamic light scattering measurements, and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). When the complementary short DNA is added to form the fully matched duplexes on the particle surface in the presence of MgCl2, spontaneous reduction of the interparticle distance is observed with TEM and cryo-electron microscopy. By contrast, when the terminal-mismatched DNA is added, no structural change occurs under the same conditions. Therefore, the single base pairing/unpairing at the outermost surface of the nanoparticle impacts the interparticle distance. This unique feature could be applied to the regulation of structures and properties of various DNA-functionalized nanoparticle assemblies.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)