DNA-controlled assembly of a NaTl lattice structure from gold nanoparticles and protein nanoparticles

Nat Mater. 2010 Nov;9(11):918-22. doi: 10.1038/nmat2877. Epub 2010 Oct 17.


The formation of diamond structures from tailorable building blocks is an important goal in colloidal crystallization because the non-compact diamond lattice is an essential component of photonic crystals for the visible-light range. However, designing nanoparticle systems that self-assemble into non-compact structures has proved difficult. Although several methods have been proposed, single-component nanoparticle assembly of a diamond structure has not been reported. Binary systems, in which at least one component is arranged in a diamond lattice, provide alternatives, but control of interparticle interactions is critical to this approach. DNA has been used for this purpose in a number of systems. Here we show the creation of a non-compact lattice by DNA-programmed crystallization using surface-modified Qβ phage capsid particles and gold nanoparticles, engineered to have similar effective radii. When combined with the proper connecting oligonucleotides, these components form NaTl-type colloidal crystalline structures containing interpenetrating organic and inorganic diamond lattices, as determined by small-angle X-ray scattering. DNA control of assembly is therefore shown to be compatible with particles possessing very different properties, as long as they are amenable to surface modification.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Colloids
  • Crystallization
  • DNA / chemistry*
  • DNA / genetics
  • Equipment Design
  • Gold / chemistry*
  • Metal Nanoparticles / chemistry*
  • Metal Nanoparticles / ultrastructure
  • Models, Molecular
  • Nanotechnology
  • Scattering, Small Angle
  • Sodium / chemistry*
  • Thallium / chemistry*
  • Virion / chemistry
  • Virion / ultrastructure
  • X-Ray Diffraction


  • Colloids
  • Gold
  • DNA
  • Sodium
  • Thallium